Diving into the science on salmon farming in Tasmania

IMAS scientists are monitoring and assessing the interactions between salmon aquaculture, the environment and society, with their research informing the management and long-term sustainability of industry.

“Our marine and social scientists and researchers are seeking to better understand the relationship between salmon aquaculture, the environment and society,” said IMAS Associate Professor Jeff Ross, who leads the IMAS Salmon Interactions Team.

“And we want our research activities and outcomes to be accessible to all Tasmanians.”

To achieve this, the team has created a website that clearly outlines the interactions between salmon farming and different marine environments, as well as local communities, in Tasmania.

The website covers the aspects of the research and highlights publications and news stories.

One of the most important sections is the team’s Research Insights, which covers a range of key topics and questions about salmon aquaculture. These include:

  • understanding where salmon poo goes
  • the impacts to inshore reefs
  • the drivers of nuisance algal blooms
  • the current health of Macquarie Harbour
  • understanding environmental interactions in Storm Bay
  • mapping proposed farming zones
  • modelling nutrient release from salmon farming operations.

Assoc Prof Jeff Ross said IMAS research continues to make an important contribution to the sustainability of salmon aquaculture in Tasmania.

“Our research is crucial to understanding both the environmental and social interactions of salmon farming, which helps inform government and industry regulation and management,” Assoc Prof Ross said.

“This helps ensure that the right balance between environmental protection, social licence and the sustainable growth of industry is met through best practice.”

Visit our Salmon Interactions Team website to learn more...


  • Top right: Salmon pens
  • Centre right: IMAS is currently undertaking research on the potential interactions between salmon farms and seagrass beds and rocky reefs. Here, an IMAS diver uses the Rapid Visual Assessment (RVA) method to document reef parameters.
  • Bottom left: Field team retrieving sediment cores. The cores of sediment remain intact and are used for a variety of analysis such as sediment organic content, sulphide and redox levels. Bigger grabs (not shown here) are used to sample the biological communities living in the sediments.

Published 24 September 2021

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
September 27, 2021