Tasmania’s assistant minister for forestry and fisheries, Jonathon Duniam and Tasmanian minister for primary industries and water, Guy Barnett, said the joint agreement between the Australian and Tasmanian governments will help examine the economic, environmental and operational feasibility of offshore aquaculture.

“Currently, aquaculture in Australia is operated in state or territory waters and by moving further offshore – more than three nautical miles – we can harness recent technological improvements and investigate the potential environmental and resource access benefits available from undertaking aquaculture in deeper waters,’’ Senator Duniam said in a press release.

“In 2017, the Australian Government committed to developing arrangements for aquaculture in Commonwealth waters, and this is a significant step towards reaching that goal.

“The work will be led by the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), an independent not-for-profit company funded under the Australian Government’s CRC Program.

“The outcomes of this work won’t just be about Tasmania. This will provide valuable information on the potential for offshore aquaculture for all states and territories.

“Aquaculture is currently worth $1.6 billion nationally and is growing both here and globally. By going offshore, the Australian Government is backing growth towards the $100 billion Ag2030 goal.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be working with the Tasmanian Government on this project.”

Minister Barnett said that Tasmania was an ideal state to develop aquaculture knowledge and equipment, given it is home to Australia’s largest aquaculture sector.

“The Tasmanian aquaculture sector has been a national success story, with the industry growing steadily to provide world class products while also delivering jobs in regional Tasmania.

“In 2020, Tasmanian aquaculture gross value of production increased by over seven per cent to $931 million and this MOU with the Commonwealth fits perfectly with our recently announced 10-Year Plan Salmon Plan,’’ he said.

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