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$14.3 Million Investment in Protecting and Growing our Fisheries Sector

25 May, 2017

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

With the Hodgman Liberal Government’s Budget back in balance we can continue to grow and protect the value of Tasmania’s world class fisheries and seafood sector with a further $14.3 million investment.

This investment will protect aquatic health and our reputation for quality products, assist the shellfish aquaculture industry as it adjusts to the ongoing impact of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome, and support our marine recreational fishers.

The value of Tasmania’s seafood production is estimated $825.6 million, so protecting and growing this sector is vital to our economy and creating and protecting jobs.

This investment will benefit our commercial and recreational fisheries today as well ensuring we are well-placed to grow and protect these industries into the future.

The 2017-18 State Budget includes:

  • $10.4 million for the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies to continue its internationally leading fisheries, aquaculture and marine environment research and teaching.
  • $600,000 to maintain the core capacity of the Centre of Excellence for Aquatic Animal Health.
  • $765,000 to extend the support to the oyster industry over three years to implement the biosecurity and recovery measures in response to the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome outbreak and its transition to managing and limiting the further spread of the disease to the North and North-West of the State.
  • One-year funding of $146,000 will support TARFish while a sustainable long-term funding arrangement is negotiated that enables the organisation to deliver improved services for recreational fishers.
  • $800,000 to continue to support the Tasmanian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program. This is in addition to the $100,000 per year first provided in 2016-17 which is ongoing.
  • $1.2 million to establish a biotoxin testing laboratory in Tasmania servicing shellfish growers and the broader seafood industry to uphold seafood safety and product integrity. The Tasmanian laboratory will provide quicker testing for shellfish growers and the broader seafood industry and will minimise turnaround time, industry disruption and potential damage to Tasmania’s quality brand.

Our existing commitments to the rock lobster translocation program and fisheries integrated   licensing and management system (FILMS) also continues in 2017-18.

Through our AgriFood Plan more than $44 million is being invested in initiatives across agriculture, fisheries, biosecurity, and research and development so that we can grow more, make more and protect our vital primary industries sector.