Oscar Tasmanian Seafood’s new long-spined sea urchin roe processing facility in Mowbray was officially opened by Tasmanian Nationals Senator Steve Martin on Monday.
Senator Martin said the $403,000 project had been funded in equal parts by the company and the Nationals in Government.
“The long-spined sea urchin is going from local nuisance to a highly sort after international product thanks to this new processing facility,” Senator Martin said.
The new facility will harvest the sea urchins and process and package their eggs for export to Asian marketplaces, particularly Hong Kong, Japan and China.
“The project, which created nine jobs during construction and creates up to 12 ongoing roles, will develop the sea urchin egg industry in Tasmania, creating much-needed employment opportunities in the region,” Senator Martin said.
“Capable of processing 240 tonnes of sea urchins every year and packaging for sale 24 tonnes worth of eggs, the facility will have a major flow-on benefit for the region’s economy.”
“Thanks to this new facility, Tasmania’s reefs, previously pillaged by this ocean pest, will once more flourish with tourist favourites, rock lobster and abalone.”
“The reinvigoration of Tasmania’s reefs and the protection of valuable abalone and rock lobster will not only keep tourists happy but safeguard the region’s fisheries.”
“It is all about our agenda to get a fair share for regional Tasmania and help build stronger local communities,” Senator Martin concluded.