Research facility to maintain health of salmon

SALMON health will be at the forefront of new facilities to be built in order to keep up with the half-a-billion-dollar salmon industry that is rapidly expanding.

A biosecure fish holding facility will be built at the Animal Health Laboratories at Mount Pleasant in Launceston to research the iconic Tasmanian fish.

It is hoped the facility will be able to conduct high quality research into vaccines and diseases the fish may contract, in pace with the growth of the industry, which has developed by $1 million a week for the past seven years, and is worth more than half-a- billion dollars to the state's economy annually.

Primary Industries and Water Minister Bryan Green made the announcement yesterday.

"This is an exciting investment that will help underpin the ongoing success of Tasmania's iconic salmon farming industry," Mr Green said.

"This work is crucial to facilitating the growth of our salmon industry because as the industry expands, so too does the task of protecting fish health."

Salmon farming at Macquarie Harbour is expanding and will double production.

The facility is part of a $1.47 million investment at the laboratory and is jointly funded by the state government and the Tasmanian Salmonoid Growers Association.

Other facilities at the laboratory will be upgraded for other aquatic animal research, funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

The tender to build the facility will be advertised today.

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