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Atlantic salmon the hard way

Atlantic salmon the hard way

Scott McDonald
The first Atlantic salmon eggs used to begin Tasmania's Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry were introduced into Tasmania in 1984. From these humble beginnings a valuable Tasmanian industry has evolved with a worldwide reputation for having a premium disease free product. This industry provides a spin off to all anglers in the form of regular escapes of salmon from the farms.

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113 smoked eel platePresented from Issue 113, December 2014
While not hugely popular in Tasmania, smoked eel is considered a true delicacy in many countries. It is particularly popular throughout Eastern Europe where it is often sold at a premium price. While it is rare to encounter this type of smoked product in Tassie, I have seen it at a one of the seafood establishments on Hobart’s waterfront. The sale price was over $50 per kilogram. You may be asking yourself, why so expensive? At that price, it must taste amazing, right?

Well, the answer is yes, it is expensive, but the taste is something special!

In my opinion, hot-smoked eel tastes a bit like crayfish, with the added flavour of smoke. The flesh is oily, and it is similar in appearance to that of cooked cray flesh. The high natural oil content of eel makes it the perfect fish to smoke.

113 eelPresented from Issue 113, December 2014
Aunique partnership between Hydro Tasmania, the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) and professional eel fishermen is boosting the health of Tasmania’s inland waterways and the sustainability of the State’s growing commercial eel fishery.

Tasmania has the most predictable and high quality juvenile eel migrations within Australian waters, but 50 major dams built for the creation of hydroelectricity obstruct these upstream migrations. So IFS and Hydro Tasmania give hundreds of thousands of elvers (baby eels) a metaphorical leg up into the Hydro catchments and the eel fishers translocate as many more to other inland waters around the State.

The IFS annual elver harvesting and restocking programs support the wild fishery in Tasmania’s rivers and lakes, where eels are a vital part of the ecosystem as the only large, native, predatory fin fish. Hydro Tasmania has a responsibility for 53 of Tasmania’s major lakes and at least 1200 km of natural creeks and rivers are influenced by their operations in some way.

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