The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Seafood sector:
Tasmania has some of the world’s best trout fishing, attracting not only local anglers, but also enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. Now moves are underway to grow it further, with the state budget containing extra funding to market and promote angling. This includes a $100,000 sponsorship to back Tasmania hosting the 2019 World Fly Fishing Championships. Primary Industries Minister, Sarah Courtney told The Advocate: “A strong fishery creates flow-on benefits to rural businesses and communities through increased tourism and regional jobs.” Other initiatives are also being considered to encourage more anglers to head to our rivers and lakes in their pursuit of the elusive trout. A report prepared by inland fisheries stated that priority must be given to developing fisheries close to population centres; encouraging female participation in the sport; accessing private dams for public fishing; and developing new fisheries alongside irrigation infrastructure.
3 July 2018, Edition 196
Australian companies are being offered the chance to collaborate with the University of Tasmania (UTAS) to develop the first viable rock lobster hatchery. Rock lobsters may be one of the most highly prized seafoods but up until now it has proven virtually impossible to raise them from eggs in a commercial hatchery. Their long and complex life cycle has previously precluded any sustainable aquaculture. But now, breakthrough research at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) in Hobart has developed the first viable rock lobster hatchery making it possible to establish a sustainable industry for lobster production. The research, developed over 17 years, includes disease control, nutrition protocols and overcoming long-standing density challenges. According to UTAS Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Professor Brigid Heywood: “This breakthrough has created exciting commercial opportunities for Australian companies interested in establishing rock lobster aquaculture ventures.” Expressions of interest are being invited from potential industry partners to help develop the first successful lobster aquaculture venture.
3 July 2018, Edition 196
The world can’t get enough of Tasmania’s salmon, and chefs are the big winners with a new product launched onto the market. Local salmon producer – Huon Aquaculture – has released a new Chef Series product range designed especially for food service professionals. Huon co-founder, Francis Bender explained: “Over the years, we have worked closely with a lot of chefs and we have listened to what they need in their kitchens; the same Huon quality but in larger quantities and with less fiddly packaging. This is how our Chef Series came to life.” This new range includes pate and caviars in larger 1kg sizes. There is also a new banquet-ready salmon that is hand-sliced horizontally and unique to Huon. Francis and Peter Bender established Huon aquaculture in 1986. The company now produces approximately 24,000 tonnes of salmon every year from farm sites around Tasmania.
3 July 2018, Edition 196
Tasmanian businesses are being invited to join a Trade Mission that Premier Will Hodgman will be leading to Asia later in the year. Expressions of Interest are being sought from businesses that wish to be involved in the Mission that will visit key markets, including China and Hong Kong, in September. Capitalising on the current boom in Tasmanian exports, the delegation will focus on agribusiness, Antarctic affairs, tourism and trade. As the Premier explained: “By taking Tasmania to the world we can continue to remain competitive and open up new opportunities in global markets for Tasmanian businesses.” Tasmania’s export sector is worth $3.5 billion annually, and over the last 12 months alone that figure has jumped by 36%. Expressions of Interest to join the 2018 Trade Mission to Asia close on June 29. For further information visit: www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au
12 June 2018, Edition 195
All roads lead to Bridport for scallop lovers in August. The north-east village is getting ready to host the first Tassie Scallop Fiesta, an event sure to draw crowds of eager seafood lovers. The fiesta will celebrate the arrival of the first scallops of the season, while also recognising Bridport’s key role in Tasmania’s scallop industry. The scallop boats may be too big to pull into Bridport these days, but one of the state’s biggest operators, Allan Barnett, still runs his processing plant in the seaside village. Festival organiser, Tony Scott, told The Examiner he was inspired by the success of Tasmania’s winter festivals: “We thought, how about we try and inject a bit of activity into the village when it’s not quite as active in the wintertime.” So, if you fancy scallops fresh off the boats, just head to Bridport on August 5.
12 June 2018
A Tasmanian scientist has been honoured with a prestigious national award for helping to unlock the mystery of a deadly virus decimating the oyster industry.
11 April 2018
An innovative school program is setting-up Tasmanian youngsters for jobs in one of our boom industries: salmon farming. Huonville High School, in the state’s south, has introduced a course in aquaculture which specifically trains grade 11 and 12 students for jobs in the salmon industry. It was introduced by teacher Steve Harrison who recently won a national award for his efforts. Mr Harrison – one of 12 teachers to win a Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award – told the Australian Financial Review: "We set-up our training organisation as though it was a workplace,” adding typical jobs students may take-on, included fish farm attendant, or as feed controller. The students leave school well equipped with a Certificate Two in Aquaculture and Maritime Operations. Huonville High School is ideally located to teach aquaculture. It is at the epicentre of salmon farming which is one of Tasmania’s biggest industries, pumping some $700m into the economy every year and directly employing around three thousand people.
11 April 2018, Edition 193
Local fishermen enjoyed a bonanza at the expense of Huon Aquaculture when about 20,000 farmed yellow-tailed kingfish escaped from one of five "fortress pens" being used in a fish-farming research project near Port Stephens, NSW. A spear-fishing group shot 60 of the large fish near Broughton Island, reaching their bag limit in an hour, while a commercial fisherman said he had taken six tonnes in a session, some of them scooped on board with a net. The pellet-raised fish are attracted to boat noises, making them easy prey. The fish escaped when rough weather on 18 January breached one of a number of pens used in the joint venture between Huon Aquaculture and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Kingfish are endemic to the area and the escapees descend from local stock, but environmentalists expressed concerns about the impact they could have on the local ecosystem. The department said: “DPI doesn’t believe that the number of fish remaining at large is significant in terms of the total wild yellowtail kingfish population in the area.” A spokesperson for Huon Aquaculture said more than 3,000 kingfish had been recaptured and the company was not concerned that the equipment failure would impact on its plans to use identical pens for salmon farming in Tasmania’s Storm Bay. “Preliminary findings ... indicate the nets detached from the sea pen as a result of barnacles cutting through ropes,” she said. The species of barnacle that did the damage does not occur in Tasmania.
8 March 2018, Edition 192
Danish-owned BioMar Australia has released plans to develop a $56 million fish-feed facility at Wesley Vale. Managing Director, Paddy Campbell, said construction would start in July, subject to planning approval. The first fish-food pellets would be produced in September 2019. The project will generate 55 direct jobs in the northern's town moribund particle board mill. Dr Campbell said at least 30 additional jobs would be created across the region through various service and logistical roles. He promised a "world-class, state-of-the-art operation that would produce up to 110,000 tonnes of pellets a year. “At the moment we are exporting $65 million worth of aqua feed to Tasmania,” Dr Campbell said. “Tasmania is the centre for aquaculture in Australia ... we’ve already got customers here and there’s a strong business case to be here.” BioMar exports to Tasmania from factories in Scotland and Chile. As well as supplying local fish farms, the Wesley Vale plant will export to New Zealand and other countries.
8 February 2018, Edition 191
Brand Tasmania's long-serving Food and Wine Writer, Graeme Phillips, taps out his final story for our newsletter: serving up a 37-year Tasmanian gastronomic saga.
5 December 2017, Edition 190