FISH FARM BOOM
MILLIONS of dollars worth of proposed fish farm-related development and expansion in the Derwent Valley and other parts of the state are now be- fore Tasmania’s environmental watchdog.
The Environment Protection Authority is now assessing proposed research and development hubs, processing facilities, feed manufacturing plants and hatcheries.
It confirms significant development now in the pipeline and ongoing rapid growth within the sector, which has increasingly come under fire over its environmental impacts and new farms. EPA documents show assess- ments in progress now include: EXPANSION at two industryowned SALTAS hatcheries in the Derwent Valley. AN Aquaculture Research and Development Hub at Triabunna, proposed by Aquaculture Services Australasia. AQUACULTURE feed manufacturing plant at Wesley Vale. AN upgrade of Huon Aquaculture’s Parramatta Creek processing plant. FISH farm plans lodged by 41 Degrees South Tasmania at Meander. A BROODSTOCK facility proposed by Tasmanian Eel Exporters at Bagdad. A TASMANIAN Salmonid Growers Association (TSGA) waste depot, also known as a “mort holding facility” for dead
fish, at the Strahan Aquaculture Hub on the West Coast.
One of the Derwent Valley SALTAS hatcheries earmarked for expansion is on the Derwent River near Wayatinah, with the other less than 10km away at the Florentine River.
Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans said the council was working to ensure hatchery expansion proposals are appropriately addressed.
“The council is making sure the EPA guidelines are adhered to,” he said.
“It’s important to make sure we’re protecting the river’s aquaculture and agriculture, and the drinking water for Southern Tasmania.”
Cr Evans said an approved expansion would create more jobs in the Valley.
“Whether it be workers at farms, or drivers moving salmon, the expansion would definitely stimulate an increase in employment. It’s an industry a lot of Derwent Valley and Central Highlands residents work in.”
Primary Industries and Water Minister Sarah Courtney said the Government’s aquaculture growth plan ensured a sustainable path for the industry.
“We accept that some groups will always oppose salmon farms but we strongly believe our sustainable plan, which is managed through strong independent regulation and employs thousands of Tasmanians, enjoys widespread community support,” she said.