Ensuring state’s salmon sustainability

An_aquaculture_pen_in_the_ocean_off_the_coast_of_Maine

A draft Sustainable Industry Growth Plan for Tasmanian salmon has been revealed as the State Government attempts to navigate unchartered waters of negativity for the industry.

The Plan includes a map of Tasmania that identifies “Grow Zones” and also salmon farm exclusion areas, extending the ban on new salmon farm leases already announced in Greater Mercury Passage right along the East Coast.

Tasmania’s far North West and King Island has been identified as a salmon industry “grow zone”.

The “grow zones” have the potential to significantly expand the industry, and create dozens of new jobs  – building on the 5200 jobs supported by the $730million industry.

The region has been identified as potentially favourable for growing salmon and already Petuna Aquaculture has indicated a desire to explore future salmon farming near Three Hummock Island.

The Plan will also include “no grow zones” like the banning of salmon farm expansion beyond the existing Okehampton Bay lease into the Mercury Passage area of the East Coast.

Tassal is moving into place a number of pens for the controversial development near Triabunna, which will eventually include 28 pens and 800,000 fish.

The government has also released its Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Bill 2017, which permanently and formally transfers powers over day-to-day environmental regulation of the finfish farming industry to the independent Environment Protection Authority and an increased focus on biosecurity through a new appointment to the Marine Farm Planning Review Panel.

“This important legislation builds on measures we are already undertaking including the re-introduction of demerit points and significantly tougher penalties for breaches of licence conditions, so companies could be fined millions of dollars or face a loss of licence,” Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff said.

The new Bill and the Growth Plan are available on the Department of Primary Industries website with public comment for the Plan extended to September 29.

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