Huon Aquaculture on land-based: “The industry would require the same energy needs as that of a city of 1.2 million people”

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Tasmanian salmon farmer rejects land-based.

The Advocate reports that Huon Aquaculture said that there is no likelihood of salmon farming ever becoming entirely land-based in Tasmania for economic and environmental reasons.

The status of Australian aquaculture and opportunities for its expansion is being discussed at an upcoming public hearing by the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee on Monday.

Activist groups have recommended the federal government push the salmon industry to move to land-based facilities.

However, Huon founders Peter and Frances Bender told the publication that land-based sites were not yet proven on scale.

“The industry would require the same energy needs as that of a city of 1.2 million people,” they said. Huon has a 2021 harvest volume of 36,000 tonnes of salmon.

“If land-based salmon farming became commercially viable, it would make sense to establish these facilities closer to market areas on the mainland. As a proud and fiercely Tasmanian company, we want to avoid moving our assets and employees to the mainland and keep Tasmanians employed in Tasmania,” added the founders.

Rival Tasmanian fish farmer Petuna said that land-based facilities had strict environmental licences with no additional support for capital investment into waste management.

“The Tasmanian salmon industry is expected to be at the forefront of wastewater re-use and processing in aquaculture, yet there is little subsidy or investment to assist in upgrading these systems when it is realised that the regulations are some of the most stringent in the world,” said Petuna.

SalmonBusiness has released an industry report, which identified, named and presented 88 companies with a theoretical production capacity of close to 2.3 million tonnes of land-based salmon.