Draft salmon industry sustainable growth plan released for comment

Jeremy Rockliff MP
Jeremy Rockliff MP

Salmon farming in Tasmania has become a hot-button issue, and the state government’s new draft growth plan for the industry is sure to further the debate.

Released for public comment on Thursday, the Sustainable Industry Growth Plan for the Salmon Industry outlines a vision for salmon farming in the state.

Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the draft plan sought to strike a balance between the needs of industry and the wishes of the community.

“We’ve listened to all sides,” he said.

“We want to bring the community along with us.”

The draft plan is divided into “top priority actions”, including:

  • Identifying “grow zones” and “no-grow zones” for salmon farming;
  • Committing to oceanic farming over estuarine farming;
  • And facilitating an agreement between Tassal, Huon Aquaculture and Petuna Seafoods on future sustainable farming in Macquarie Harbour.

Tassal chief executive Mark Ryan said the draft plan was an “important document” that would increase transparency, innovation and environmental stewardship.

But Greens marine environment spokeswoman Rosalie Woodruff said there was “nothing” sustainable about the draft plan, that it was “written for industry, by industry”.

Environment Tasmania strategy director Laura Kelly also criticised the plan.

“Refusing to even consult with impacted commercial fishing, recreational fishing, tourism and environment groups has only inflamed the conflict surrounding big salmon's expansion,” she said.

The draft growth plan is open for public comment until September 8.