Tasmanian jobs benefit from the growth in the state's aquaculture industry

Posted: 25th Jul

A win for the industry has been the opening of a $50 million Ridley extrusion plant at Westbury, which will produce high quality fish feed and support 20 full time permanent jobs.

It's estimated about 550 contractors and subcontractors were involved in the project during its construction.

The aquaculture industry is a significant contributor to Tasmania's economy and is likely to continue to grow into the future as our salmon is of global regard for chefs and restaurants.

The fish feed facility is great example of an industry evolving to a changing marketplace and of finding a niche way to support the industry and ensure it remains competitive along the supply chain.

Ridley's new facility is also important for Tasmania's salmon industry because it will assist in increasing the supply of high quality fish feed that will provide nutrition for farmed salmon into the future.

However, it hasn't been all smooth sailing for the salmon industry, with a new report by the Australian Institute revealing Tasmania does not profit enough from the rapidly growing aquaculture industry.

In addition, the industry has been linked to two tragic deaths on the mainland due to a listeria outbreak.

Tasmanian salmon has a global reputation of being of high standard, but the link to these deaths will be a blow to the industry.

All eyes will be on producers and others along the supply chain, on how they act and respond to the listeria link to salmon produced here in the state.

How they recover from that will tell the tale of the resilience of the industry and how it can weather such a challenge.

Another blow, will be the findings of the Australian Institute report which revealed the Tasmanian Government may have missed out on millions of dollars in potential revenue from the rapid growth of the industry. 

According to the report, Tasmanians are only seeing about 10 cents in every $100 in salmon revenue. In comparison, Norway, one of the largest global salmon producers, receives 80 per cent.

Fish and seafood play an important and increasingly popular role in consumers diets, as an alternative to red meat, and as such Tasmania's aquaculture industry is of economic benefit to the state.

But if that could be improved, why wouldn't we make the changes to ensure that happens?

We have some of the best and freshest seafood in the world but we should ensure Tasmania is the beneficiary of that slice of our economic pie.

Source: The Examiner - https://www.examiner.com.au/story/6291478/growth-in-salmon-an-opportunity-for-economy/