Environmental regulation changes
Since the mid-1990s, environmental regulation for inland fish farms was via one or more of the following legal instruments: a licence from the Inland Fisheries Service under the
Inland Fisheries Act 1995; council permit under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993; Environment Protection Notice under EMPCA issued by council or EPA. The marine farming sector has been regulated by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995.
In June 2016, the Tasmanian Government announced changes to the regulatory framework surrounding finfish farming activities, reflecting the significant growth in the industry. The EPA became responsible for the environmental regulation of both freshwater hatcheries and marine farms, and so that this could commence immediately, the EPA Director was provided relevant delegations under the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 and Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995. The functions of industry planning and development however, remained under the jurisdiction of the Minister for Primary Industries and Water.
In order to transfer the environmental regulatory responsibility for finfish farming to the EPA into law in a permanent and comprehensive manner, changes to a number of pieces of legislation were required. To implement these changes, the
Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Bill 2017 was prepared and introduced into Parliament on 17 August 2017. It received Royal Assent on 4 December 2017, and the Act is now being implemented.
Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Act
Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Act 2017 (Finfish Act) establishes the legal structure empowering the Director, EPA with an independent statutory role for the environmental regulation of the State's finfish farming industry, including marine and freshwater farms. It amends several Acts relating to the management of the finfish farming activities and establishes Tasmania's
Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA) as the primary piece of environmental regulation legislation.
The Act provides an Environmental Licence (EL) as the new regulatory instrument for both marine and freshwater activities. This means that anyone operating a marine or inland fish farm must hold an EL under EMPCA in addition to holding a Fish Farm Licence under the
Inland Fisheries Act 1995 (in the case of an inland farm or hatchery) or a Marine Farming Licence under the
Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 (in the case of a marine farm). However, existing operators of both marine and inland fish farming activities are not required to submit an application to the Director, EPA for an environmental licence under EMPCA. Instead, these activities may continue under the existing authorisation until an EL has been issued by the EPA.
Further details on the regulatory arrangements for both inland and marine finfish farming activities are available in the attached Fact Sheets, and FAQs surrounding the new Finfish Act:
Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Act FAQs
Marine Finfish Farming Regulation Fact Sheet
Inland Finfish Farming Regulation Fact Sheet
Salmon Regulation Section
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599
Fax: 03 6173 0254