Guy Barnett Minister for Primary Industries and Water

A view of the salmon industry from Down Under

“Tasmania can be rightly proud of the salmon industry and the thousands of jobs and regional communities it supports.”

Commentary
By Guy Barnett
Minister for Primary Industries and Water

The salmon industry is one of Tasmania’s great success stories, and it will continue to be of prime importance as we rebuild the economy and maintain jobs across our regions.

The salmon industry was born from humble beginnings, from early trials some 40 years ago in our south-eastern waters, to a billion-dollar industry, with a strong growth trajectory supporting thousands of jobs across our state. It is globally recognised for its innovation, commitment to world-leading science and it is Australia’s largest aquaculture industry.

The Sustainable Salmon Industry Growth Plan, currently under review, is how the government is supporting the industry to achieve a $2 billion-a-year growth target by 2030.

With responsible management and continued innovation in the sector, this level of growth to meet the market demand for Tasmania’s iconic salmon products is sustainable and appropriate.

The salmon industry is underpinned by rigorous science and world-leading research and strives to achieve not only regulatory compliance, but world’s best practice. The salmon industry epitomises the Tasmanian brand.

The industry goes above and beyond, diversifying into research and products across its operations and supply chain to support more sustainable outcomes and help to make advancements that set the industry up well for a sustainable future, while generating more jobs across the state.

In fact, the industry also underpins many other local industries, such as the fish feed companies establishing in Tasmania. A great example of this includes the $50 million Ridley plant at Westbury, which opened in 2019 and the $67 million BioMar facility at Wesley Vale, which opened this year with more than 40 jobs and looking to source local ingredients. Skretting, at Cambridge, also supplies all three major producers.

The salmon industry is an enormous supporter of community activities, with all companies involved in a range of other programs, initiatives and activities that support regional areas. They also play an important role on the water, including removing marine debris and assisting recreational boaters who find themselves in distress at sea.

Tasmania can be rightly proud of the salmon industry and the thousands of jobs and regional communities it supports.

As our state recovers, consider buying Tasmanian salmon on your next visit to the markets – you’ll be eating the best salmon in the world and supporting Tassie jobs.

Related article COVID-19: Nations look to aquaculture to boost food security

Guy Barnett (pix) is the Minister for Primary Industries and Water for Tasmania, Australia. This opinion piece was originally published in the Advocate.

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