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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Greater Environmental Focus for Seafood Industries

24 July 1997

National guidelines to minimise the impact of the aquaculture industry on Australia's coastal areas are due to be finalised at a seminar in Hobart on Friday.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the framework will promote the ecologically sustainable development of aquaculture operations to ensure the long-term viability of the aquaculture industry.

The seminar, funded by Environment Australia, will take place during the sixth International Tasmanian Aquaculture Exchange.

"Aquaculture is an increasingly important primary industry which offers considerable economic opportunities for Australia.

"However, the long-term viability of the industry will only occur where the production of high-value seafood such as oysters and sashimi-grade fish is managed in an environmentally sustainable way.

"Through Coasts and Clean Seas, the $125 million program launched on Tuesday, the Howard Government is supporting the adoption of an environmental framework for aquaculture operations.

"The government has so far contributed $128 000 to help develop the draft guidelines which aim to protect Australia's coastal environment while allowing for increased productivity from aquaculture.

"Aquaculturalists are increasingly aware of the potential impacts of their operations on the environment and are taking positive action by investigating ways of minimising or eliminating these impacts."

For the first time the seminar will bring together 90 representatives from industry, government, and conservation and community groups to finalise An Environmental Management Framework for Australian Coastal Aquaculture.

The document has been drafted following extensive industry consultation by the Australian Seafood Industry Council with input from Environment Australia and the Department of Primary Industries and Energy.

Copies of the draft can be obtained from the Australian Seafood Industry Council on 06 281 0383 or by telephoning Environment Australia toll free on 1800 803 772.

Contact: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640
Jayne Gallagher (Aust Seafood Industry Council) 014 685 741
24 July 1997

Commonwealth of Australia