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Seafish Tasmania fined $40,000 for causing environmental harm

10 March 2016

Seafish Tasmania was fined $40,000 today for the unlawful disposal of wastewater from its fish waste processing plant in Triabunna in 2012.

EPA Director, Wes Ford welcomed the Magistrate’s decision, saying that he hoped the sentence would discourage other companies from the unlawful disposal of waste products and any activity which might cause significant environmental harm.

“Environmental regulations are necessary for the State’s sustainable development and at times we need to prosecute against people and businesses when their actions are proven to have resulted in environmental harm,” Mr Ford said.

“Fish farming is a growing industry in Tasmania so it’s important that we aim for best practice and that the by-products from fish processing are managed sustainably,” he said.

“This is the largest fine ever imposed under the EPA’s regulations and reflects the serious nature of the guilty charges, including the environmental impact and culpability on the part of Seafish.

“It reinforces the EPA’s decision to seek a prosecution in this matter, and represents a successful outcome for compliance staff who pursued the investigation with determination.

“It is a timely reminder of the need for individual and community responsibility in regards to environmental management so as to ensure our vision of a clean, healthy and sustainable Tasmania,” said Mr Ford.

Seafish Tasmania pled guilty last July to three charges under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act (1994), resulting from a substantial investigation by the EPA which commenced in 2012. The charges related to the unlawful disposal of wastewater from its fish waste processing and rendering operation in Triabunna to a rural property on the East Coast, over the period from 22 May to 30 December 2012.