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Seafood stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Seafood sector:

BioMar plans $56m aqua-feed plant

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

Food story has been a Tassie epic

Edition 190_Phillips

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

Seafood testing given upgrade

The Tasmanian Government has invested $1.2 million to help upgrade Analytical Services Tasmania to become a world-class laboratory that can service the State's seafood industry. The Minister for Primary Industries, Jeremy Rockliff, told the Shellfish Futures Industry Annual Conference: "This will provide a fast reliable service supporting not only our shellfish sector but lobster, abalone, scallop and clam industries ... We’re continuing to work in partnership with industry to ensure we have a modern and effective system that guarantees quality of our shellfish product, protects our brands and provides market access." Mr Rockliff said $765,000 had been allocated in this year’s Budget to assist the oyster industry's recovery from the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome outbreak last summer.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

IMAS takes on POMS threat

Scientists are working with oyster farmers to reduce the impact of a likely outbreak of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome this summer. Last year's outbreak has caused an impending oyster shortage this festive season and signs of the virus are expected to emerge again when water temperatures consistently reach 18C, most likely later in December. The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science has a research team working with growers on ways of reducing mortality in POMS-affected areas through husbandry and farm-management adjustments affecting oyster size and age, handling, stocking densities, positioning of oysters in the water column, and the cooling of oysters. Dr Sarah Ugalde said: “Mechanical grading is quicker, but much more stressful for the oyster compared to grading by hand and this may make them more susceptible to the virus.” POMS was first detected in Tasmanian waters in January 2016 and spread to five growing areas — Little Swanport, Blackman Bay, Pittwater, and Pipe Clay Lagoon — causing widespread oyster deaths that resulted in financial stress and job losses among oyster growers.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Baby boom for giant lobsters

Endangered Tasmanian giant freshwater lobsters in a northern Tasmanian refuge have produced more than 30 precious babies. As the little lobsters swam about in specially chilled water tanks at the Lobster Ponds Haven, near Wynyard, Manager Kevin Hyland said: “This event may be a world first. It really is very exciting and [is a result of] the years of work started by [the late] Don Bramich, who established the premises in 2003.” The Tasmanian giant freshwater lobster is the biggest freshwater invertebrate on earth and is only found in northern Tasmanian streams and rivers that flow into Bass Strait. Lobsters live for up to 40 years and can reach a metre in length – as big as a small dog. Habitat destruction has reduced wild populations and the State and Federal governments recently enacted new protective measures. The Moo Brew brewery launched a special Lobster Ale to raise funds to help with their protection. Salmon farmer Tassal has also pitched in as a sponsor of Lobster Ponds Haven, paying for water chillers that keep lobster tanks close to natural river temperatures. The Tasmanian Community Fund has provided $30,000 for a solar-powered system of temperature control, while the Cradle Coast Authority’s NRM scheme has paid for interpretative signage on the site. The community-run refuge attracts about 1,650 visitors a year, some of them expecting to eat its protected inmates. Numbers are now likely to grow with an unexpected new generation on show.

6 November 2017, Edition 189

Huon moves on land-based pens

Huon Aquaculture has unveiled a plan for a $30 million on-shore salmon-raising facility at Port Huon. Part of a $65 million investment program for 2017–18, the land-based, concrete salmon pens will be used to grow smolt to about 600gm, compared with the 200gm fingerlings generally delivered to sea cages from land-based hatcheries. The Huon Valley Council has approved demolition work, excavations and retaining wall construction at the site and the Environmental Protection Authority will consider the proposal this month. Huon Aquaculture’s Managing Director, Peter Bender, told The Mercury the company considered a combination of land-based and off-shore operations to be the best option for further aquaculture expansion in Tasmania.

6 November 2017, Edition 189

Seaweed in brain breakthrough

Edition 189_Williams

Seaweed extracts produced by Tasmanian biopharmaceutical company Marinova are proving effective in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

5 November 2017, Edition 189

Agri-Food value hits $2.39b

Edition 189_cows

The gross value of Tasmania’s agriculture and seafood sectors increased by 5.9 per cent to $2.39 billion in 2015–2016, according to the latest State Government figures.

3 November 2017, Edition 189

Lobster hatchery to lead world

Edition 188_Heywood Smith

The world’s first commercial rock lobster hatchery will be built in Tasmania following a $10 million deal between Hobart-based aquaculture supplier PFG Group and the University of Tasmania.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Levy plan for nature’s abalone

Edition 188_Lisson

Close involvement in the Chinese market and a levy-funded marketing effort to promote the virtues of wild abalone are keys to the future of a charismatic Tasmanian industry.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 191

Edition 191_Campus

Launceston taking the lead in the race to be Australia's "smartest city" is the top story in your first Tasmania's Stories newsletter of 2018.  I hope you find lots to interest you in your latest edition of Tasmania's Stories.

15 February 2018, Edition 191

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