Environmental Standards for Marine Finfish Farming

​​​​​In accordance with Section 96V of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA), the Minister for Environment and Climate Change makes available to the public the Environmental Standards for Tasmanian Marine Finfish Farming 2023. The Environmental Standards have been made in accordance with Section 96Q of EMPCA, by the Minister and take effect from 18 October 2023.

A companion paper, that provides context and explanatory detail is also available, which is intended to be read alongside the final Environmental Standards.

Both the Environmental Standard and the Companion Paper are published below:


The Environmental Standards have been prepared by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) in consultation with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA is the Authority responsible for implementing the Environmental Standards and regulating the finfish farming industry.

The Environmental Standards are one of a set of aquaculture standards committed to in the Tas​manian Salmon Industry Plan, which are designed to enhance regulation and management of the marine finfish farming industry in Tasmania.

The development of the Environmental Standards has been informed by an international review of environmental management frameworks for salmon farming and how Tasmania compares to other jurisdictions. Research by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was also considered during the development of the Environmental Standards, ensuring they were appropriate for the local marine environment.

Consulta​tion on the Technical Standards

Now the Environmental Standards have been made, the Director, EPA is now in the process of developing Technical Standards for the purpose of supporting the implementation of the Environmental Standards in accordance with Section 96X of EMPCA. It is anticipated that Technical Standards will be made and published on the EPA website in accordance with Section 96Y and 96ZA of EMPCA, by 1 January 2025.

Technical Standards need to be made in relation to several topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Establishment of reference conditions, environmental indicators, and reference sites
  • Baseline environmental assessments
  • Broadscale environmental monitoring programs
  • Water quality and investigative trigger values
  • Seabed video surveys
  • Detailed sediment surveys
  • Reef habitat surveys
  • Seagrass habitat surveys
  • Total permissible dissolved nitrogen output
  • Therapeutant management
  • Noise management

The key focus during the development of the Technical Standards will be to ensure that each standard contains contemporary, scientifically sound, and auditable methods that enable the EPA to implement the new Environmental Standards. 

The EPA will seek to engage the community, stakeholders, industry and their consultants, and the scientific community in a consultation process. If you are interested in participating in this consultation process, you can register your interest by sending an email to Enquiries@epa.tas.gov.au.

The consultation process for the Technical Standards will consist of:

  • Step 1: Opportunity for the public to provide comment on a specific Technical Standard or package of related Technical Standards. The consultation period will be 6 weeks and will be notified via media release and will be published on the EPA website.

  • Step 2: EPA to summarise and evaluate comments and modify the draft Technical Standards as necessary.

  • Step 3: EPA to organise targeted workshops. For each Technical Standards package, a pair of separate workshops will be held.

    • Workshop 1 is to be attended by industry, consultants, and scientists.

    • Workshop 2 is to be attended by stakeholders representing community concerns and scientists.

  • Step 4: EPA to modify the Technical Standards, taking into account consultation findings, and document the rationale for decisions made.

  • Step 5: The Director, EPA to make the Technical Standards in accordance with EMPCA.

  • Step 6: EPA to gazette the Technical Standards.

  • Step 7: The Director, EPA to publish the Technical Standards accompanied by the reason why the Director has made the Technical Standard, a summary of submissions and de-identified minutes from both workshops.

It is important to note that, workshops will be conducted by the EPA with the assistance of a professional external facilitator and dedicated scribe. Given the development of the Technical Standards is subject to tight deadlines, workshops need to be managed to be time-efficient and outcome-focused. The scope of each workshop will be limited to dealing with the technical and scientific aspects of the subject matter. Industry, scientific organisations, community groups and other stakeholders will be able to nominate participants, however, the EPA will reserve the right to select the most suitable persons.

  • Workshop 1 participants will be selected by the EPA based on demonstrated knowledge and practical involvement with the subject matter.

  • Workshop 2 participants will be invited by the EPA based on their knowledge of the subject matter, as demonstrated by written submissions during the consultation phase in relation to a specific Technical Standard and an indication of interest and ability to contribute.

Participation will be on a voluntary basis and not attract reimbursement (financially or otherwise).