Tasmania passes bill to support offshore marine aquaculture research

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Signals ‘a key step’ to sustainably growing Tasmania’s salmon farming industry

offshore marine aquaculture research
Tasmania has passed a bill to enable offshore marine aquaculture research, which will help sustainably grow the salmon farming industry. Photo by Nick Higgins.

On March 10, the Tasmanian government passed the Living Marine Resources Management Amendment (Aquaculture Research) Bill 2021.The Amendment Bill will enable marine aquaculture research in Commonwealth waters adjoining Tasmanian state waters. The amended bill will help establish a framework to deliver offshore aquaculture in Commonwealth waters off the coast of Tasmania.

With the passing of the bill, the Tasmanian government is now 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 January 1, 2023,” the government wrote in a press release. “A core principle of this plan is to develop new research and innovation programs 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. Both the Tasmanian and Australian Governments have joined with other stakeholders to invest in the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre 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 the first step towards a 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,” wrote the government.

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