Major investment in Tasmania's salmon industry Tue 29 May 2012 Bryan Green Deputy Premier Download hi-res version Download hi-res version Download hi-res version Tasmania's salmon industry is on the verge of a major expansion worth tens of millions of dollars in Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast which will create over 200 jobs. The Minister for Primary Industries and Water Bryan Green has approved plans by Tasmania's major salmon producers to increase marine farming leases which have the potential to triple production. "Tasmania's salmon industry has been a great success story and the expansion will be a huge boost to the West Coast and the broader Tasmanian economy," Mr Green said. "This is a vote of confidence in the future of our aquaculture industry and Tasmania's unique brand values. Mr Green said the expansion would pour more than $88 million into the regional economy in the first five years and create 100 jobs during the construction phase. "A further 160 production and processing jobs will follow the expansion of the farming areas. "The Government is a strong supporter of the salmon industry and welcomes this important investment to grow the sector. "I congratulate the partners in this project, Petuna Aquaculture, Tassal and Huon Aquaculture for their vision and hard work on the project. Mr Green said the environmental assessment of the expansion was the most extensive ever undertaken in Tasmania for a marine farming development. "The key to this project is that the expansion is sustainable for the long-term. Mr Green said he approved an amendment to the Macquarie Harbour Marine Farming Development plan recommended by an expert panel which examined the proposal. "The amended plan has now been provided to the Commonwealth for consideration under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Mr Green said the farming area would be increased to 926 hectares taking up 3.3 per cent of the harbour, an increase of just over 1 per cent. "An expert reference group will advise on future monitoring and management of the farming operations. "The strong focus on sustainability gives great confidence in the future of the industry. Mr Green said salmon farming began in Macquarie Harbour in the late 1980s and production this year was expected to reach 8000 tonnes. "Tasmania's salmon industry is setting an exciting pace in the growth of our food and beverage sectors. "The value of salmon production has increased by $250 million in the past five years, growing by almost $1 million a week. "Last year the industry produced over 30,000 tonnes of fish and now employs over 1000 people. "The Government's support further demonstrates our strong focus on growing the primary industries sector through investment that will sustain jobs," Mr Green said.