Feature image

Tasmania’s Stories

All parties tick salmon rules

Edition 188_Seal

New laws to police Tasmania's salmon industry were approved by all parties in the Lower House of Parliament in September.

The legislation, which was also approved by the Upper House, provides for:

  • The permanent and formal transfer of powers over day-to-day environmental regulation from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). This has happened in the past through a delegation of powers;
  • Consolidating the environmental regulation of inland and marine finfish farming, including hatcheries, into one system overseen by the EPA;
  • Providing the statutorily independent Director of the EPA with a clear legislated role for on-going environmental regulation. This will require companies to apply for new environmental licences.
  • The declaration of exclusion zones for finfish marine farming, the first of which will be in the greater Mercury Passage, between Maria Island and the Tasmanian mainland.

The Tasmanian Greens unsuccessfully tabled eight amendments to the Bill before voting for it to pass.

Environment Tasmania's Laura Kelly rounded on her elected allies, telling the media that she would have rejected the "flawed" legislation.

Meanwhile, the Government has banned the relocation of seals that break into salmon cages following complaints from the fishing industry in the north of the State.

Some fishers claimed the practise was destroying their livelihoods.

The 15-year-long practice of catching troublesome seals in the south-east and trucking them to beaches on Bass Strait will be outlawed by Christmas.

Tassal is the only company affected, as Huon Aquaculture has progressively introduced reinforced seal-proof cages in its south-east operations and Petuna only farms, at present, in Macquarie Harbour.

About 2,000 seals have been relocated in 2017.

It will still be legal to capture offending seals, but they will have to be released locally.

The largest salmon producers, Tassal and Huon Aquaculture, have each reported record profits in 2016-17, a year in which their chief executives fell out publicly and Tassal was under regular media attack.

Huon Aquaculture launched court action against Tassal and the EPA over environmental issues in Macquarie Harbour.

However, the two businesses generated a total of just over $100 million in profit during a tumultuous year.

Huon Aquaculture reported a $42.2 million profit to the Australian Securities Exchange, up from $3.4 million the previous year.

Huon’s operating profit rose 555 per cent from $4.4 million to $28.8 million.

Tassal, the State's largest producer, recorded a $58.1 million profit for 2016-17.

The Minister for Primary Industries, Jeremy Rockliff, said: “The strong financial performances by Tasmanian salmon producers shows the growth potential of the industry, which is why we have released a draft sustainable industry growth plan for the salmon industry, which looks at all aspects of the industry, future planning and stronger regulations to ensure its long-term sustainability.”

So politicised has the industry become, The Mercury asked UTAS Political Scientist, Richard Eccleston, to comment on the company results.

“It demonstrates aquaculture and salmon farming, clearly, has got a future and can deliver value to the Tasmanian economy, like a lot of other high-end agriculture, in a way that other industries perhaps can’t," Dr Eccleston said.

“It highlights the fact that it’s so important that not only do we need to ensure that the industry is environmentally sustainable, but that it’s socially sustainable as well."

The State's third major salmon producer, Petuna, has appointed a new CEO, Ruben Alvarez.

Mr Alvarez was formerly the Chief Operating Officer of New Zealand King Salmon.

Image courtesy of the ABC

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Back to index

Like to know more?

Join our eFriends mailing list and once a month we will keep you up-to-date with the news that’s flowing in our state. You could win a prize in our monthly competition.

Join us

Become an eFriend

Join our mailing list

Join our eFriends mailing list and once a month we will keep you up-to-date with the news that’s flowing in our state. You could win a prize in our monthly competition. 

Brand Partnership

Are you a Tasmanian business or operator? Join us in raising the profile, quality and value of Tasmania’s products.

Apply online

Facts about Tasmania

Tasmania

Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.

Tasmania

Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012-13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.

Geography

Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.

Geography

The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island's land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.

Geography

About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.

Climate

Twice named 'Best Temperate Island in the World' by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.

Climate

In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.

Population

The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of Mt Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania's highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.

Flora

Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.

Flora

Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King's holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.

Fauna

Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.

Fauna

The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.

Fauna

The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia's largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania's predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.

Economy

A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.

Economy

Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world's biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.

Economy

The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.

Economy

Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.

Economy

Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.

Economy

The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.

Economy

Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.

Economy

The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the state's gross product in 2010-11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

Brand Tasmania

Become an eFriend

Close

Join our eFriends mailing list and once a month we will keep you up-to-date with the news that’s flowing in our state. You could win a prize in our monthly competition.

I’ve already subscribed