Regional communities are the backbone of our farming operations; 75 per cent of our workforce have a non-urban postcode and coupled with the hundreds of contractors, suppliers and businesses used in nearly every town in Tasmania.
Aquaculture provides tremendous opportunities to create a critical mass of highly skilled, employed families that can keep regional communities alive and thriving and growing–something that should never be under estimated.
Our employees live in regional towns across the State, nurture their families, spend their salaries in their own communities, paying personal income tax which is returned to Tasmania in the millions and also support the local fire brigade, the Lions Club and the next generation of athletes (like so many other people in regional communities).
Our members invest heavily in regional suppliers (most of which are Tasmanian owned); from transport companies to clothing manufacturers, to local trades businesses; every year, the companies spend in excess of $500 million purchasing goods and services from Tasmanian businesses; your neighbour (the plumber), to your daughter’s footy coach (who drives the fuel truck), to the café down the road.
In addition, all member companies donate to community grant schemes and small sponsorships which goes directly to small regional community groups that work so hard to build capacity and resilience in regional communities.
Ultimately the biggest thing our industry offers, much more that an economic contribution (which it does in spades), is that it offers our rural communities a lifeline, meaningful employment opportunities, sustainable and ethical food production, and the chance for our bright young minds to stay in Tasmania–and that can only be good for the future of our state.
Management of Marine Farming Equipment
Operating in extreme weather and high-energy sites presents an ongoing challenge to ensure that all equipment, ropes and general farming equipment remains secured, and in a serviceable state, within salmon farm leases.
Over the past few years, numerous actions have been undertaken by our member companies to reduce the potential for loss of marine farming equipment including replacement of some equipment, regular education sessions for employees, review of operating procedures and adoption of new technology.
In areas we have farms, we conduct regular waterway clean-ups. While the majority of the waste we collect is not from our activities, these clean-ups give us the opportunity to monitor what debris is escaping from our farms and improve our processes to reduce those occurrences. The volume collected is publicly reported at www.salmonfarming.nre.tas.gov.au and collectively, the industry developed a voluntary Code of Practice to manage the loss of marine farming equipment.
The industry established a public hotline 1300 DEBRIS (1300 332 747) and mobile application DebrisTracker for reporting marine debris in the State’s waterways. These systems have been established to streamline reporting and ensure any debris (not just fish farm related) can quickly be recovered and the industry can identify the source and work to ensure the loss doesn’t occur again.