Australia’s seafood industry welcomes aquaculture MoU

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak body representing the Australian seafood industry, has recently welcomed an announcement from the Assistant Minister for Fisheries Jonno Duniam and Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water Guy Barnett of a framework to deliver offshore aquaculture in the Commonwealth waters off Tasmania.

Information source: Australia’s Seafood Industry / media release

“Recently, Assistant Minister Duniam and Minister Barnett met in Launceston to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Australian and Tasmanian governments to help examine the economic, environmental and operational feasibility of aquaculture operations in the waters off Tasmania, and the Australian seafood industry has welcomed this agreement” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.

“Aquaculture is now the largest sector of the Australian seafood industry, accounting for 51 percent of GVP. The sector is currently worth $1.6 billion nationally and is forecast to grow both domestically and internationally.

“Currently, aquaculture in Australia is operated in state or territory waters, however by moving these operations offshore – more than three nautical miles – we can harness recent technological improvements and investigate the potential environmental and resource access benefits available in these deeper waters. By going offshore, the Australian Government is backing the sector’s growth towards the $100 billion Ag2030 goals.

“The expansion of aquaculture into Commonwealth waters has been a long-held commitment of the Government. One that was first tabled in the 2017 National Aquaculture Strategy, and SIA welcomes this important step to delivering on that commitment. 

“The investigation will include a time-bound trial to examine the feasibility of undertaking aquaculture activities in open, deeper waters. The trial 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. Interested stakeholders will be consulted on the details of the trial, including its location, prior to the commencement of the operational activity.

“The outcomes of the trial will form the basis of a national approach, with all states and territories, for realizing the long-held objective of allowing for offshore aquaculture in the open, deeper waters managed by the Commonwealth.

“We applaud this commitment from the Australian and Tasmanian governments to support our aquaculture sector who continue to set international benchmarks by providing fresh, high-quality, sustainable seafood year-round while meeting and exceeding regulatory requirements. We look forward to working with the governments to further our world-leading sector.

“We’d like to acknowledge the hard work of the industry members who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes and alongside the government to develop this MOU.”

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