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EPA approves waste capture system for Macquarie Harbour

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has approved Tassal’s proposed Waste Capture System (WCS) for operation in Macquarie Harbour.

EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford announced his approval of the WCS today issuing the company with an Environment Protection Notice for the harbour activity. Mr Ford said that based on Tassal’s reporting of the trial to date and its Environmental Management Plan (EMP), he is allowing the company to operate with the supplementary biomass of up to 28 tonnes/hectare provided it complies with the EPN.

"The EPN contains the requirements and conditions to regulate the capture and disposal of the fish farm waste including reporting and monitoring requirements," said Mr Ford.

"Under the EPN, Tassal is required to undertake a range of monitoring, including benthic observations and dissolved oxygen in the harbour, as well as parameters to measure the effectiveness of the system," he said.

"The EPA will undertake regular reviews of the waste collection operation in the harbour and waste disposal.

"This approval will enable the company to carry supplementary biomass and delay the harvest of about 4000 tonnes of 2016 year-class fish until they reach market size," he said.

Mr Ford said that the WCS is designed to capture the solid waste from 1.5 tonnes of fish for every 1 tonne of fish to be grown through to harvest that is in excess of Tassal’s 13 tonnes/hectare allocation (3,640 tonnes).

Copies of the Director’s cover letter, EPN and the Approval Instrument, along with Tassal’s EMP and Report on the WCS Trial are available to the public on the Macquarie Harbour Management Determinations page​.