To take advantage of the Australian aquaculture sector’s ability to produce high quality, sustainable and safe seafood, as well as its increasingly important contribution to regional economies and employment, the 2017 National Aquaculture Strategy (the Strategy) aims to grow the aquaculture sector in Australia to $2 billion by 2027.

A key action identified in the Strategy to target this growth is facilitating the extension of aquaculture operations, which currently occur only in state and Northern Territory waters, into adjacent Commonwealth waters.

The Trial – Have Your Say

Tasmania is home to Australia’s largest aquaculture sector, with considerable infrastructure and expertise in aquaculture operations. It is for this reason, the Government proposes to work with Tasmania on a trial of aquaculture in Commonwealth waters.

To pursue the three year trial, the Australian and Tasmanian Governments entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to support aquaculture in the Commonwealth waters adjacent to Tasmania led by the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

The Blue Economy CRC currently has a research project underway characterising a marine area in Commonwealth waters for emerging Blue Economy R&D activities in Bass Strait that can support sustainable offshore aquaculture and renewable energy developments.

The analysis of baseline survey data is providing critical environmental information about an area offshore of Burnie, Tasmania. This site could be viable for an offshore aquaculture trial while minimising the impact on other resource users including offshore energy, recreational and commercial fishing and marine traffic.

The Blue Economy CRC’s research and training activities will continue to inform and support the trial and will examine and monitor the environmental, social, economic and operational feasibility of offshore aquaculture focusing on salmon and exploring other opportunities such as seaweed farming systems.

For further information about the trial, read the background paper and view the map.

Feedback is invited regarding the proposal via a survey.

Survey closes 5pm (AEDT) on Thursday 24 February 2022.