Tasmanian Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (SMRCA)

Our Research

As a research institute of excellence in temperate marine research, IMAS works in collaboration with the Tasmanian Government to ensure Tasmania's marine resources and industries are sustainably developed and managed.

Fishing boatsAs partners in the , the University of Tasmania and IMAS aim to:

For more information, read our SMRCA Strategic Plan for 2022-2026 or our SMRCA Activity Report for 2021 and 2022, search our Fisheries Assessments or see what .

Tasmanian Fisheries and Aquaculture Research

IMAS researchers and industry stakeholders talk about the world class fisheries and aquaculture research carried out by IMAS through the University of Tasmania's collaboration agreement with the Tasmanian Government.

Tasmanian Salmon - the research story

Successfully introduced into Australia in the 1960s, Atlantic Salmon have become one of the country’s highest value and volume fisheries products. When the eggs from those first fish were brought to Tasmania in 1987, our scientists nurtured and grew the salmon in small tanks.

From those small beginnings at what is now the IMAS Taroona Research Laboratory, our scientists have been helping to address the many challenges of salmon farming for more than 20 years. This has led to innovative science and ongoing monitoring, to provide data that can improve the industry’s sustainability while informing government, industry and the community.

Hook, Line And Satellite - IMAS recreational fisheries research

IMAS scientist Associate Professor Sean Tracey explains how linking in with the recreational fishing community benefits science and sustainable management of the fishery. Fishers care about the sustainability of the recreational fishing industry, because they know the importance of ensuring there are plenty of fish left to catch tomorrow, next year, and into the future.

Listening To The Harbour - Environmental Research in Macquarie Harbour

IMAS researcher Dr Jeff Ross describes the important natural features of Tasmania's Macquarie Harbour, the environmental responses to salmon farming, and the role that science is playing in determining the level of farming that is ecologically sustainable in the harbour into the future.

Oysters In Hot Water

Along with Tasmanian oyster farmers and the Tasmanian Government, IMAS is doing vital work to help tackle devastating outbreaks of the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) in Tasmania. This video features researcher Dr Sarah Ugalde, who this summer worked with her IMAS colleagues Dr Christine Crawford and Lewis Christensen on a number of research projects aimed at improving understanding of the disease and developing the most effective responses to it.

Data collection by lobster fishers - improving stock modelling and management

This IMAS project that aims to protect the southern rock lobster industry against the growing and severe problem of harmful algal blooms. The first economic and social assessment report of Tasmanian fisheries released recently noted the rapid expansion in economic yield and market capitalisation of the lobster industry over the previous six years. Bioeconomic modelling was used to develop targets in the harvest strategy in 2011 with capitalisation growing from ~$200 million in 2012 to almost $1 billion today. This type of modelling was only possible because of the extensive data collection program run through IMAS with a huge input from many fishers – as featured in this video.

Looking Out For The Little Guys

IMAS does a wide range of research on common species like abalone and rock lobster. But we also do research on minor species that are equally important, such as periwinkles, cockles, urchin, scallops and more. Why did IMAS researchers tag 3000 periwinkles, how could putting urchin on the menu help protect our reefs, and why is seismic testing for oil and gas a threat to scallops? Watch Looking Out for the Little Guys to find out.

Caught a tagged fish?

For more information about what to do if you've caught a tagged fish, click here.

Tagged abalone

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
22 November, 2023