Marine Farming Development Plans

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Marine Farming Development Plans formally set out where marine farming can occur in Tasmanian waters and which species are permitted to be farmed within each marine farming zone.

About Marine Farming Development Plans

​Marine Farming Development Plans are prepared and approved under the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 and are designed to integrate marine farming activities with other marine and land uses, while minimising any adverse impacts.

Marine Farming Development Plans formally set out:
  • an area of state waters that the plan encompasses
  • areas within the plan area where marine farming can occur – also known as marine farming zones 
  • the maximum leasable area within each zone
  • the types of species that can be farmed within each zone
  • how farming is managed within each zone (through management controls). 

Existing Marine Farming Development Plans and Proposals

Marine Farming Development Plans set out where and how aquaculture operations can occur around Tasmania. Occasionally, new Marine Farming Development Plans are proposed or existing plans are amended.

​Creating or Amending a Marine Farming Development Plan

​From time-to-time, aquaculture operators may wish to establish new farming zones in Tasmania or make an amendment to existing zoning arrangements. 

In such instances, they must either request approval to prepare a new draft plan or to amend an existing plan. 

A draft Marine Farming Development Plan or amendment must:
  • have regard for the use and development of the region as an entity in environmental, economic, recreational and social terms
  • have regard to the biological and physical requirements of the species to be farmed in that area. 

Preparing a new draft Marine Farming Development Plan or draft amendment involves several non-statutory and statutory processes, including:

​​​​Non-statutory process
​An exploration of the area under permit is undertaken, including collection of data. 
​​Initial consultation with community is undertaken.
​​The proponent prepares a proposal summary for consideration by the planning authority. 
​​The Department issues guidelines and the proponent prepares an environmental impact statement.
Statutory process​
​An application to develop a new Marine Farming Development Plan or amend an existing plan is prepared and submitted to the Department.
​The independent Marine Farming Planning Review Panel assesses comments and may require modifications to a draft plan or amendment as a result.
​​The draft plan or amendment is placed on public exhibition for up to two months, during which time comments may be submitted. This is then followed by public hearings if requested.
​The proposal is considered by the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel and makes recommendation to the Minister.
​​The Minister provides final approval to plans or amendments.
​​Allocation of the leasable area may proceed*. Plans must be reviewed at least once every ten years to ensure resource management objectives are achieved.​ 

* Before marine farming operations can begin, a lease and marine farming licence must be granted. If the lease is for the farming of finfish, an environmental licence is also required. Learn more about making an application for a lease or licence. 

Marine Farming Development Plan Application Forms

 Approval to prepare a draft plan (PDF 299Kb)

 Application for an amendment to a Marine Farming Development Plan (PDF 275Kb)

Prior to embarking on this process, applicants are advised to contact the Aquaculture Branch for further information, including guidelines for preparation of a proposal summary and environmental impact statements.​ 

Environmental Impact Statements

A new Marine Farming Development Plan draft or amendment must be supported by an environmental impact statement (EIS), which must address:
  • ​​operational matters
  • environmental matters
  • socio-economic considerations
  • commercial and recreational fishing considerations
  • information appropriate to the significance of the proposal to public interest. 
The Department prepares proposal-specific guidelines for each proposal where an EIS is required. Where the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel determines a planning change is not of a substantial nature, or is unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment, an EIS may not be required.

​Generic guidelines set out the list of core matters to be addressed for finfish. These are refined according to proposal-specific considerations provided by the Panel. The EIS must also meet any requirements given by EPA Tasmania.​

Marine Farming Planning Review Panel

The Marine Farming Planning Review Panel makes recommendations to the Minister about proposed Marine Farming Development Plan drafts or amendments, according to assessment, planning and regulatory frameworks.

Learn more about the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel​.