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Tasmania's seafood industry gets $4.8 million boost

by the Fish Site Editor
14 September 2007, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - A package to secure a profitable and sustainable future for Commonwealth fisheries will give Tasmanian businesses and communities working in the sector $4.8 million in Australian Government grant funding.

Senator Eric Abetz, Minister for Fisheries and Conservation, announced that 16 businesses and communities in Tasmania that will receive financial support under the Government’s $220 million 'Securing Our Fishing Future' package.

The Minister said a third round of Onshore Business Assistance would also be delivered in the near future.

The Tasmanian grants are state wide and the on-shore programmes follow on from the licence buy-back that saw more than 550 fishing concessions bought back for $149 million to secure a more sustainable and profitable future

“This second round was highly competitive with more than 200 applications received across both programmes. A significant number of applicants were from in Tasmania, from oyster farmers to boat builders, and all are receiving part of the $40 million onshore assistance package,” said Senator Abetz

Two successful Tasmanian businesses, Huon Aquaculture, who received $1.2 million, and Oyster Bay Oysters, who received $388,000, joined Mr Abetz to officially announce the programme.

Develop technology
David Whyte, Production Planning Manager at Huon Aquaculture said their grant would enable the company to develop technology to enable salmon farming in more exposed offshore locations.

“This project will directly improve Amoebic Gill Disease management – one of the limiting constraints in developing offshore farms and will help us extend and improve our operational capabilities, generating new jobs and enhancing existing roles,” he said.

Hayden Dyke, General Manager of Oyster Bay Oysters, said his company would use the funds to ensure the expansion of their business, with employment having already increased as a result of the funding.

“This money will help us sustain and grow employment in our company. It also allows us to establish a “careers pathways” program into aquaculture with the local school and local community,” Mr Dyke said.

The community grants are aimed at generating new economic and employment opportunities in towns affected by reduced fishing activity as a result of the Securing Our Fishing Future package.

Onshore Business Assistance grants will assist businesses dependent on the Commonwealth fisheries sector to adjust their operations. However, it marks the end of Fishing Community Assistance with the Government injecting $20 million into worthwhile projects in impacted communities.

Further information about the grant programme and the projects involved can be found at www.daff.gov.au/fishingfuture.

the Fish Site Editor