Salmon Regulation & Management

​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Tasmanian Salmon industry is Australia's most valuable seafood production sector.  The industry is regulated by  the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) and the independent Environment Protection Authority (EPA​) .

​The Tasmanian salmon industry includes all aspects of farming of both Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout (salmonids) across both fresh and marine waters.

​Salmon Farming Legislative and Management Structure

​Biosecurity & Fish Welfare
​Marine Farming Operations
​Wildlife Interactions
Freshwater Resources

Protection Authority

​Biosecurity Tasmania

Aquaculture Branch

Natural and Cultural Heritage

​Inland Fisheries Service

Agriculture and Water

Assessment of farm compliance against environmental conditions set out in Environmental Licences.
Management of biosecurity risks by monitoring fish health to detect new or emerging diseases, and enforcing animal welfare standards.
​Support of sustainable development and operational compliance of marine farms, and planning and licensing processes.
​Monitoring, conservation, and management of marine and seabird wildlife in Tasmania.
Management of all fish and fisheries in inland waters, including inland fish farms and hatcheries.

D​esign of policy and regulatory frameworks to ensure equitable, efficient and sustainable allocation and use of surface and groundwater resources.

Biosecurity Act 2019 

​Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 

​Inland Fisheries Act 1995 


Water Management Act 1999​ 



Controls on salmon farming activities

​Salmon farming is provided for under the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 (MFPA) and is regulated by management controls within Marine Farming Development Plans, and conditions within marine farming leases, marine farming licences issued under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995, and environmental licences issued under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994

​​​ ​Controls on Salm​on Farming 
​Statutory provisions under the MFPA
​Management controls contained in Plans
Marine farming lease conditions
​Marine farming licence conditions
Environmental licence conditions*
*Environmental licence conditions apply to marine and freshwater fish farms (through IFS and EPA).​ ​ 

Marine Farming Development Plan areas, marine farming zones, leases, and marine farming and environmental licences can be found on ListMap. Learn more at Salmon Farm Planning​. 

Resource Management and Planning System

Salmon farming is managed under Tasmania’s Resource Management and​ Planning System (RMPS). The RMPS is based on principles of sustainable development and aims to achieve sustainable outcomes for the use and development of the State's natural and physical resources. The principles are set out as a schedule in the relevant Tasmanian legislation.  

Objectives of RMPS:  

The objectives of the resource management and planning system of Tasmania are to:  

  1. ​Promote the sustainable development of natural and physical resources and the maintenance of ecological processes and genetic diversity. 

  2. Provide for the fair, orderly and sustainable use and development of air, land and water. 

  3. Encourage public involvement in resource management and planning. 

  4. Facilitate economic development in a way that is consistent with the other objectives.  

  5. Promote the sharing of responsibility for resource management and planning between the different spheres of Government, the community and industry in the State. 

Adaptive management

In Tasmania, an adaptive management approach that is consistent with Tasmania’s Resource Management and Planning System and ecologically sustainable development principles is applied to salmon marine farming. This approach involves an iterative process of decision-making, monitoring and assessment which can enable effective and timely responses to the evolving issues that arise from the dynamic environment in which the industry operates.

Marine farming compliance

Salmon farming in State (marine) waters must comply with strict regulations regarding environmental impact, biosecurity risk management and marine farming operations. 

Within NRE Tas, the Aquaculture Branch, Biosecurity Tasmania, and Natural and Cultural Heritage, along with the Environment Protection Authority Tasmania (EPA) work together to regulate marine farming operations.  This includes conducting regular inspections and audits to ensure compliance.

​Environmental monitoring

​EPA Tasmania is responsible for ensuring contemporary environmental regulation of the Salmon industry. This includes the day-to-day environmental regulation of marine and land-based salmon farms through evaluating and assessing compliance against environmental conditions set out in Environmental Licences.  EPA Tasmania also provides in​put into the assessment process of marine farm developments that are undertaken in a separate government process. More information on the environmental regulation of the salmon industry can be found on the EPA website​.


Reporting of metrics

Salmon farming operators are required to report key metrics to NRE Tas and the EPA to ensure they are meeting licence and permitting requirements and to inform management decisions. These include production, employment, feed usage, therapeutant, and seal deterrent usage, as well as wildlife interactions. Key metrics inform management decisions and can be found on the Salmon Portal

Benchmarking of environmental monitoring and regulation​​​​

The Tasmanian Government has developed a Tasmanian Salmon Industry Scorecard​ which benchmarks the State's environmental monitoring regime against international regulatory practices for salmon aquaculture.

Inspection and enforcement

Officers from NRE Tas and the EPA audit marine farming operations for compliance with relevant regulations or in response to public notifications. 

Penalties for offences such as operating without a licence, contravening a licence condition or marine farming equipment being found outside a lease area can include fines, demerit points and potentially imprisonment. Serious convictions may also affect a person’s ability to hold a lease or licence.  

Compliance activities are consistent with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy​.

Marine farming debris

Marine farming debris is any marine farming equipment located in State waters outside of a marine farming lease area, including foreshores without authorisation.


Aquaculture Branch
Primary Industries & Water Division
Lands Building
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 3110