The leader of Tasmania's state government has hit back at suggestions by the Australian government's environment minister that part of the region's sizeable salmon farming industry may need to be put on hold.

Salmon farming operations in Tasmania's Macquarie Harbour, a major production area for Australia's biggest producers, could be halted amid a push to protect an endangered species of skate.

The harbor on Tasmania's west coast is home to 11 farms belonging to Cooke-owned Tassal, JBS-owned Huon and Sealord's Petuna.