Secret Tasmanian government plans for salmon farm expansion leaked

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Leaked maps indicate state government plans to allow access to large parts of the state’s north-west, north and east coasts to salmon farming.

Just days after releasing its 10-year plan to ensure the future sustainability of the industry, there are fresh concerns that the Tasmanian government has secret plans to expand salmon farming to more areas of the state.

On Saturday, community group Neighbours of Fish Farming (NOFF) announced it had been given maps that show the state government plans to allow access to large parts of the state’s north-west, north and east coasts to salmon farming.

The government’s 10 year plan – which will begin development over the next 12 months – had pledged that there will be no net increases in water area leased to salmon companies.

Read more: Tasmania slaps 12-month ban on offshore expansion

NOFF says the maps were created in secret by the state government’s Marine Spatial Planning Committee, which exists under Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) to identify zones for fish farming, and are vastly different to the “grow” and “no grow” maps that the state government released in 2017 outlining the industry’s future.

Map showing potential salmon farming areas in 2017 ILLUSTRATION: Neighbours of Fish Farming

Speaking after a public meeting in Cygnet, south of the state capital, Hobart, NOFF president Peter George said. “We got those maps from within government, from people and industry who are deeply concerned themselves about where this salmon industry is going.”