The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Mountain Stream Fishery Pty Ltd to increase the production and standing biomass limits from 50 tonnes to 181.5 tonnes of finfish at its hatchery.
This is to reflect current production levels at the existing finfish farm, which produces Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in flow-through raceways and tanks. The hatchery is located at 38036 Tasman Highway, Targa in the municipality of Launceston and operates under Environmental Licence 9835/1.
The EPA Director, Wes Ford, made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board. He concluded the proposed development can be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions, and determined to vary the existing Environmental Licence to include the EPA's new conditions.
“Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly the impact the discharge from the hatchery is currently having on water quality in the St Patrick's River," said Mr Ford.
“A number of conditions have been imposed to ensure proposed management measures are implemented to reduce nutrient loads discharged from the hatchery," he said.
“Other conditions have been included to improve ambient and operational monitoring of the activity, and to require the development of a long term plan to ensure sustainability of the hatchery discharge," Mr Ford said.
No representations were received in relation to the proposal. Public consultation was open for a 37 day period from 5 December 2020.
The proposal was considered by the Director in the context of the sustainable development objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS), and in the context of the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).
The functions of the EPA are to administer and enforce the provisions of EMPCA, to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives and, in particular, to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania.
The Director undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of EMPCA.
The Director's environmental assessment report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to the applicant.
The decision by the EPA Director can be viewed on the EPA website at https://epa.tas.gov.au/assessment/assessments/mountain-stream-fishery-pty-ltd-production-increase-targa