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EPA Director seeks to reduce benthic environmental impact in Macquarie Harbour

31 May 2017

The Director, Environment Protection Authority, Mr Wes Ford, has today (31 May 2017) advised Huon Aquaculture, Tassal and Petuna that the biomass for Macquarie Harbour will be set at 12,036 tonnes, or 13 tonnes per hectare for the period from now until 31 May 2018.

Tassal has requested approval to grow their 2016-year class fish through to market size, resulting in around 4,000 tonnes of additional salmon being in the Harbour in January 2018. Mr Ford has provided authority to growth these fish through subject to Tassal installing an approved waste collection system to capture waste from 1.5 tonnes of fish for each tonne of salmon exceeding the 13 tonnes per hectare limit. This will mean that in January 2018 Tassal will be capturing fish waste from 6,000 tonnes of salmon, preventing it settling on the harbour floor.

Mr Ford has approved Tassal undertaking a trial of five (5) waste collection units over the four-week period commencing 5 June 2017, under the existing management controls of the Macquarie Harbour Marine Farming Development Plan.

The purpose of the trial is to test the design of the units and the systems to collect and remove the waste from the harbour. Mr Ford will require all waste to be taken ashore and treated prior to disposal. The full waste collection system will be assessed and approved under section 44 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994, and managed via an Environment Protection Notice.

The advice to the companies, the submissions provided against the draft determinations issued on 5 May 2017 and the Tassal draft environmental management plan for the waste collection system are available on the EPA Tasmania Website