Is Tasmanian Salmon Farmed?

Area: TAS. Off the coast of Tasmania, Atlantic salmon, a non-native species, are raised in sea cages for food. Salmon farming has had a significant negative influence on the environment in Macquarie Harbour, a special and delicate waterway next to a World Heritage Site.

Who or what is opposed, and why?

The world’s population consumes more fish than the oceans can support, and overfishing has disastrous effects on the ecology.

By 2050, it is anticipated that up to 90% of wild fish would have disappeared due to overfishing. Aquaculture, often known as fish farming, is a contentious “solution” to this issue, with opposing points of view, yet it is challenging to measure the effects precisely.

According to published data from field investigations into subtropical fish farms, the impacts discovered were on the organic and nutrient loading from the farmed fish into the ocean, with other potential impacts including adverse interactions between farmed and wild fish, carbon increases from transportation and fish feeding, decreased wild stocks, and waste products from increased farmed populations.

Salmon farming has had a particular impact on Tasmania; the World Heritage site Macquarie Harbour includes dead zones on the seafloor and losses of close to 1.35 million farmed fish, resulting in noncompliance with 19 certification standards. With its rapid growth, the globe needs to take care not to add another environmental catastrophe to the list. (Read more about aquaculture here for further GoodFish information.)

A two-year conflict between activist communities on King Island and the salmon producer Tassal has affected Tasmania.

In spite of resistance, the fish producer was given permission in 2017 to build a new fish farm next to the Martha Lavinia surf break on Tasmania’s King Island.

Over the past three years, the neighborhood has banded together to resist the project and established Keep King Island Fish Farm Free. They even organized a 100-person paddle out protest on the island last year, which attracted a lot of media attention.

They fear that the industrial fish farms will have a negative influence on King Island’s environment, economic, and social environment, according to their GetUp page. The fact that 55% of King Island’s adult population reportedly signed it shows that there is a lot of opposition.

“Artifishal is a movie about people, rivers, and the struggle to protect wild fish and the ecosystem that supports them in the future. It examines the damage that fish farms and hatcheries represent to wild salmon, as well as our ongoing lack of faith in nature.

Why Salmon Farms in Tasmania Are So Controversial

The salmon industry is worth $1 billion, and there are salmon farms right off Tasmania’s shore.

Previously advertised as a clean, nutritious, and sustainably produced fish, Tasmanian salmon is now offered both domestically and abroad in stores in Australia.

The industry’s darker side, one that isn’t so clean and is allegedly destroying the environment, hadn’t been made public until this book, along with increasing concerns from scientists and environmentalists.

Due to mounting opposition to the salmon farming industry, Tasmania’s state government declared last week that it would completely “reset” the sector.

the tainted multinational food conglomerate that produces Huon salmon

The group did, however, suggest a strategy for reducing inshore finfish farming facilities, prioritizing “ceasing activities in sensitive, sheltered and biodiverse locations.”

The report urges the government to evaluate all environmental license requirements for fish farms and set clear limits for the amount of dissolved nitrogen, other essential nutrients, and fish that can be kept in a given region.

The rapid expansion of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour raised concerns about biomass restrictions, and green algae in Tasmanian streams has been attributed to excessive concentrations of dissolved nitrogen and nutrients from fish farms.

Meg Webb, the committee’s head, said the report included helpful suggestions for the government.

“Because the last thing we want is for this industry to fuel further polarization in the community,” the author explains.


At the breeding farm, where ‘broodstock’ (sexually mature fish) are kept in big freshwater ponds or tanks, Atlantic salmon farming is first carried out on land.

In Tasmania, salmon producers only employ female fish during the growth period because the comparatively warm seawater temperatures can lead male fish to develop sexually quickly, which increases their vulnerability to disease and lowers the quality of their flesh. Therefore, sex reversal of some female broodstock to produce “neo-males” is a widespread procedure in aquaculture. Only female progeny are created when these neo-males are subsequently bred with regular females.

Individual broodstock are anesthetized once a year, typically in the fall, by placing the fish in a water bath that contains an anesthetic chemical. Female and neo-male fish are anesthetized before having their eggs and “milt” (sperm) removed. While some female fish are given time to recuperate from anesthesia and are then returned to ponds or tanks, the procedure for removing milt from neo-male fish necessitates the fish’s death.

Is salmon raised in Tasmania safe to eat?

Tasmanian farmed salmon is a safe, wholesome, healthy, and sustainable food since feed companies are legally obligated to publish ingredient specifications in Australia.

In Tasmania, farmed salmon is fed what?

Carnivores include salmon and tuna. Additionally, they consume more than they generate, much like other agricultural animals. To feed fish in fish farms, millions of anchovies, sardines, and other small fish are annually taken from the ocean. The largest salmon producer in Australia, Tassal, uses 2 kg of wild fish as feed to make just 1 kg of farmed salmon.

Australia has farms where salmon is raised.

The commercial fishery-related sector in Tasmania with the biggest yearly production value is the Atlantic salmon industry, which is worth about $497 million1. Tasmania, where the waters are among the warmest in the world for Atlantic salmon cultivation, is home to the majority of Australian salmon farming operations.

The Tasmanian Atlantic salmon can reach harvestable size in 16–18 months thanks to warmer temperatures. Faster growth has a price, early maturation can influence product quality and availability, and disease susceptibility connected to temperature can cause large stock losses.

Issues for the Tasmanian business included a closed population and biosecurity limitations. It was necessary to control important commercial features, like as growth rates and disease resistance, in order to develop the salmon breeding industry further.

In what quantity is salmon raised in Tasmania?

What began as a small enterprise that produced 55 tonnes of salmon in 1985–1986 has grown into a significant Tasmanian industry that generated around 65,000 tonnes of fish in 2019–20, grown over 2670 hectares of sea in seven marine zones.

Salmon from Tasmania is it moral?

Despite the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) having until 2019 backed the industry’s practice through its certification program, the head of WWF Australia said in private that Tasmanian salmon farming was “not sustainable.”

What kinds of fish are raised in Australia?

Abalone, freshwater finfish (like barramundi, Murray cod, and silver perch), brackish water or marine finfish (like barramundi, snapper, yellowtail kingfish, mulloway, and groupers), mussels, ornamental fish, marine sponges, mud crab, and sea cucumbers are among the other species groups grown in Australia.

Which salmon is not wild?

Salmon is the fish that Americans eat the most, partly because it has a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart. Salmon tops the list of fish that are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids as a whole.

The natural population of salmon swimming in open waters has, however, been diminished as a result of its popularity. As a result, farmed salmon is becoming prevalent since consumer demand is increasing faster than the rate of high tide.

Atlantic salmon is frequently used in farmed salmon. The five varieties of Pacific salmon that are often found in wild-caught salmon are chinook (king), sockeye, coho, pink, and chum. (Sockeye are most prevalent.)

According to Zumpano, it is now true that both Atlantic and Pacific salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But there is much more to think about when choosing fish at the counter if you dig further into the dietary information.

Why isn’t Pacific salmon raised in farms?

On August 20, there was the sea equivalent of a large-scale prison break. Following the collapse of their underwater net pens at a salmon farm close to Cypress Island, hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon raised in Washington State were unintentionally released into the Salish Sea. Local wild fish, many of which are endangered or threatened, could suffer because of the increased competition for food and habitat. As soon as possible, the Lummi Nation Indian tribe proclaimed a state of emergency, stating in an official statement that “The Atlantic salmon spill has the potential to decimate native salmon stocks essential to the culture and economics of the Lummi Nation.”

That leak is merely the most recent example of why these farmed fish are debatable. Although not native to the Pacific Northwest, Atlantic salmon are thought to be simple to produce for commercial purposes in the area’s cold saltwater, where they grow to be rather large, have an excellent flavor, and are reported to be more able to fend off infections than the native wild fish. However, salmon farming is not regarded as benign in other states; in fact, it is completely banned in Alaska and California due to growing concerns from fishermen, indigenous groups, environmentalists, and the general public. Salmon farming is legal in Washington State and its northern neighbor, British Columbia.

According to Patty Lovera, assistant director of Food and Water Watch, a national group focused on business and government accountability relating to food, water, and corporate overreach, experts are still disputing why the net pens broke, but the issue is straightforward. These fish don’t belong there, she claims, because Atlantic salmon belong in the Pacific Ocean.

Do antibiotics make up Tasmanian salmon?

The Tasmanian fish you consume contains neither growth hormones nor antibiotics. Sometimes salmon needs antibiotics, just like humans do. Antibiotic prescriptions can only be made by our veterinarians. Any antibiotic has entirely disappeared from the fish as a result of the stringent withholding period before harvest.

Government agencies evaluate and report antibiotic use, and veterinary drugs are licensed and subject to federal oversight.

All salmon, wild or farmed, receive their distinctive flesh color from their diet because it contains astaxanthin, an antioxidant that is essential for healthy muscle growth and egg production. You may purchase astaxanthin at your local pharmacy or health food store; it is secure for both salmon and humans. While farmed salmon obtain their astaxanthin as part of a nutritionally balanced diet, wild salmon get theirs by consuming krill.

Australia’s federal government strictly regulates all animal feed. Salmon is not given raw poultry things to eat. Poultry by-products that have been processed into protein flour are included in our feed. The industry has been actively working over the past 35 years to enhance the amount of plants and vegetables in a balanced salmon diet and decrease wildfish inputs.

Preservatives are present in the majority of human and animal feed. These preservatives are secure and have received federal government approval. In some salmon diet, ethoxyquin is present. To consume the recommended daily amount of ethoxyquin recommended by the World Health Organization, you would need to consume more than 4 kilos of salmon each day.

Together, our industries provide 12,000 jobs in Tasmania. We work on farms. The towns where we do business make up our heartland, and our people are what keep us going. The salmon business is one of Tasmania’s largest employers and a supporter of rural areas, employing one in every twenty Tasmanians who are employed in some capacity.

To date, more than 40 laws have been passed to control the salmon business in Tasmania. We have more stronger rules and reporting requirements than any other industry in this State. We are aware that doing this is necessary to safeguard our freshwater and marine rivers and assure the continued existence of our sector. We may all be proud that the Tasmanian government rules are said to be the strictest in the world’s salmon business.

You can support your community while eating one of the world’s healthiest and most effective foods by consuming Tasmanian salmon. In comparison to certain other sources of protein, Tasmanian salmon has a minimal carbon footprint. In actuality, just 0.7 kg of wild fish are required to generate 1 kg of growing salmon, making us a net protein producer.

We keep pushing ourselves to improve, be open and rational in our decision-making, help the community, and protect the environment.