FISH FARM BOOM

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS PIPPOS and JAMES KITTO

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.

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