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Tasmania passes offshore aquaculture research bill

A bill that will help establish a framework for delivering offshore aquaculture in Commonwealth waters off the Tasmanian coast has been approved by the Legislative council.

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
10 March 2022, at 8:45am
diver with a fish pen
The bill will enable marine aquaculture research in Commonwealth waters that adjoin Tasmanian state waters

© InnovaSea

The Tasmanian Government’s Living Marine Resources Management Amendment (Aquaculture Research) Bill 2021 was passed by the Legislative Council on 10 March. The amended bill will enable marine aquaculture research in Commonwealth waters that adjoin Tasmanian state waters. With the passing of the bill the Tasmanian Government will now focus on working with the Commonwealth to establish a “fisheries management arrangement” which will provide for aquaculture research permits to be granted and managed under Tasmanian legislation.

This is a key step in supporting sustainable growth of Tasmania’s world-leading salmon industry through the 10-year Salmon Plan, to be in place by 1 January 2023. A core principle of this plan is to develop new research and innovation programmes and to focus on offshore salmon farming.

Importantly, it is intended that any marine aquaculture research would only be for fixed-term, limited-scale activities and in a defined research area.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Tasmanian and Commonwealth governments supports the implementation of the National Aquaculture Strategy and aligns with the new 10-year Salmon Plan.

underwater sea cage
The bill will allow innovators to explore new opportunities in Tasmania's aquaculture industry

© InnovaSea

Both the Tasmanian and Australian Governments have joined with other stakeholders to invest in the Blue Economy CRC to conduct research and development into future offshore industries.

The Bill will help also enable research to be conducted, initially by the Blue Economy CRC, as a first step towards potential future industry that benefits Tasmania.

This opens up a new frontier to explore opportunities for growth in Tasmania’s already successful and sustainable aquaculture industry – not just salmon, but also other sectors including seaweed and shellfish.