Coastal marine and estuarine waters provide the basis for most of the marine farming in Tasmania. The industry is concentrated mainly in the south-east of Tasmania because of the cooler waters, range of sheltered inlets and proximity to infrastructure such as markets, transport services and airports. Recently, land-based farming using pumped seawater has been developed and technical improvements, particularly in abalone husbandry, should see this increase.
Separate environmental monitoring programs have been developed for shellfish and for finfish marine farming activities. At a farm level, programs have been tailored to the size and location of the farm, the species to be farmed, and the environmental sensitivity of the area.
At April 2002, there were 3,300 hectares of water available for marine farming in Tasmanian State waters. There were 190 licensed farms.
Tasmanian marine farming activity is mainly in Atlantic salmon, Pacific oysters and mussels. Native flat oysters, the big bellied seahorse, scallops and abalone are also farmed. Research into other species is ongoing, with the focus in 2002 being on rock lobster and striped trumpeter.