The EPA undertakes the environmental regulation of land based finfish farms, including freshwater hatcheries, that hold over 2 tonnes of biomass or have an annual production over 5 tonnes. These farms grow salmon and trout, with the majority producing smolt to supply marine farms.
This page contains information about the EPA's regulation of the environmental effects of Level 2 land based finfish farms on their receiving environments. These environmental effects typically involve the treatment and management of nutrient levels in the effluent discharge, which may cause increased algal growth in receiving waters.
Russell River Catchment Nutrient Study, October 2018
The EPA commissioned Dr Rebecca Kelly, isNRM Pty Ltd to conduct an independent review of monitoring data available for the Russell River near Lonnavale, to investigate the effects of nutrients from the fish farm discharge and the contribution of other catchment nutrient sources on algal growth in the river downstream of the fish farm.
The EPA has received a briefing on a review of Dr Kelly’s report undertaken by Dr Lois Koehnken in January 2019. As a result of Dr Koehnken’s analysis further work was undertaken by the EPA to validate a number of matters presented by Dr Kelly. In July 2019, the Director of the EPA indicated that both reports support the conclusion that the nutrients being discharged from the flow-through farm, in compliance with the current environmental limits set in the EPN and subsequent Environmental Licence, are at the right level to protect the environmental values of the Russell River.
The report, Catchment Nutrient Study for the Russell River at Lonnavale, October 2018 is available here.