Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water
The Tasmanian Government is taking the next step in delivering on its agreement last month with the Australian Government to support a framework to deliver offshore aquaculture in Commonwealth waters off the coast of Tasmania.
As part of that work, the Government is seeking comment on the draft Living Marine Resources Management Amendment (Aquaculture Research) Bill 2021.
This Amendment Bill looks to enable marine aquaculture research in Commonwealth Waters adjoining Tasmanian State Waters, managed under Tasmanian fisheries and aquaculture legislation.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments supports the implementation of the National Aquaculture Strategy and aligns with the new 10-year Salmon Plan being developed to support a sustainable salmon industry.
Both the Tasmanian and Australian Governments have joined with other stakeholders to invest in the Blue Economy CRC to conduct research and development into future offshore industries.
The draft Bill will help enable research to be conducted, initially by the Blue Economy CRC, as a first step towards potential future industry that benefits Tasmania.
Importantly, it is intended that any marine aquaculture research would only be for fixed-term, limited-scale activities and over a limited spatial area, for example a defined research zone.
Research is also expected to help inform the development of appropriate legislative, regulatory and administrative frameworks at both Commonwealth and State levels which would be required before any commercial scale aquaculture could take place.
Overall, the draft Bill proposes to amend the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 to ensure that Tasmania may enter into an arrangement with the Commonwealth under the Commonwealth Fisheries Management Act 1991 for the marine farming of ‘fish’ for research purposes in Commonwealth waters to be managed under State laws.
In the existing legislation ‘fish’ is defined quite broadly and the Government is seeking to maximise the potential opportunity for Tasmania from aquaculture in offshore Commonwealth waters for all potential species, including finfish, shellfish and seaweed.
Public comment is sought on the draft Bill and supporting clause notes. Consultation closes at 11.59pm on 3 November.
For a copy of the Consultation Paper and to make a submission, go to www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/amendments