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Monitoring

​​Past monitoring review
               

Data collected by DPIPWE since 2014 has confirmed a decline in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the bottom waters of Macquarie Harbour, while routine benthic monitoring since 2013 has indicated an increase in the abundance and distribution of opportunistic polychaetes. A range of actions have been undertaken in response to the monitoring, including immediately beginning targeted research and increasing levels of environmental monitoring in the Harbour on a spatial and temporal scale. Copies of these reports are available from the DPIPWE website at www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/marine-farming-aquaculture

Compliance Monitoring

Marine Farming Licence Conditions relating to environmental management of fish farming in Macquarie Harbour require compliance with environmental standards. One requirement is that there must be no significant visual impacts at, or extending beyond, 35 metres from the boundary of the lease area. Visual impacts from farming outside of marine farm lease areas are monitored by remotely operated vehicles with cameras surveying for benthic bacterial mats (Beggiatoa spp.) at these compliance points around lease areas 35 m from the boundary.

In November 2016, the EPA completed its first assessment of monitoring data since the Tasmanian Government's announcement that environmental regulation would be transferred to the EPA on 1 July 2016. The benthic monitoring undertaken by the companies is validated against independent research undertaken by the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), research commissioned by the companies themselves, and water quality monitoring data collected by the EPA, industry, IMAS, and the CSIRO through separate monitoring programs.

September 2016 Compliance Monitoring Results

The Spring 2016 round of regular benthic monitoring undertaken by the three salmon companies in Macquarie Harbour was assessed by the EPA. The benthic surveys indicated non-compliance at several of the lease sites, and water quality monitoring showed that the low levels of dissolved oxygen in the deeper parts of the Harbour continued for much of the year, reaching a record low. A summary table of the September 2016 information collected by the companies at 35 metre compliance survey points at various lease sites, is attached in the Macquarie Harbour Lease Boundary Compliance Summary, September 2016 .

January 2017 Compliance Monitoring Results

The Summer 2017 round of regular benthic monitoring undertaken by the three salmon companies in Macquarie Harbour has now been assessed. A summary table of the January 2017 information collected by the companies at 35 metre compliance survey points at various lease sites is attached in the Macquarie Harbour Lease Boundary Compliance Summary, January 2017. The January benthic surveys indicated worsening non-compliance at six of the ten lease sites since the September 2016 Compliance Survey. The EPA has required salmon companies to undertake a range of management responses to address these non-compliances. Advice received from several companies is that additional benthic surveys undertaken since January indicate an improvement in environmental conditions around the leases. The next benthic compliance survey is scheduled for May 2017.

Waste Capture System Monitoring

The monitoring of the Macquarie Harbour WCS is required under EPN No 9702/1 (attached above). This covers monitoring surveys of water quality (including dissolved oxygen), WCS liner integrity and Macquarie Harbour benthic conditions. Tassal is required to summarise its monitoring in a monthly report to the EPA. These monthly reports are available to the public, being published on Tassal's website, and links to the documents are provided below:

Macquarie Harbour Waste Capture System Monthly Report 10.08.17

Macquarie Harbour Waste Capture System Monthly Report 01.09.17

Macquarie Harbour Waste Capture System Monthly Report 01.10.17

Macquarie Harbour Waste Capture System Monthly Report 01.11.17​

Macquarie Harbour Waste Capture System Monthly Report 01.04.18

May 2017 Compliance Monitoring Results

The May 2017 round of regular benthic monitoring undertaken by the three salmon companies in Macquarie Harbour has now been assessed. A summary table of the May 2017 information collected by the companies at 35 metre compliance survey points at various lease sites is provided in the Macquarie Harbour Lease Boundary Compliance Summary, May 2017. The May benthic surveys indicated improved compliance across the Harbour. Only one lease recorded non-compliances (down from six leases in January 2017 compliance survey) with a reduction in non-compliant survey points at that lease from nine to four. Petuna has discussed on-going management responses with the EPA to maintain progress towards full lease compliance. The next benthic compliance survey is scheduled for September 2017.

September 2017 Compliance Monitoring Results

The September 2017 round of regular benthic monitoring undertaken by the three salmon companies in Macquarie Harbour has now been assessed. A summary table of the September 2017 information collected by the companies at 35 metre compliance survey points at various lease sites is provided in the Macquarie Harbour Lease Boundary Compliance Summary, September 2017. The September benthic surveys showed no change in compliance status across the Harbour compared to the May 2017 survey, with one lease recording four non-compliances. Petuna is discussing on-going management responses with the EPA to maintain progress towards full lease compliance. The next benthic compliance survey is scheduled for January 2018.

January 2018 Compliance Monitoring Results 

The January 2018 round of regular benthic monitoring undertaken by the three salmon companies in Macquarie Harbour has now been assessed. A summary table of the January 2018 information collected by the companies at 35 metre compliance survey points at various lease sites is provided in the Macquarie Harbour Lease Boundary Compliance Summary, January 2018. The January benthic surveys showed a deterioration in compliance status across the Harbour compared to the September 2017 survey, with ten non-compliances recorded across four leases. Companies are discussing on-going management responses with the EPA to maintain progress towards full lease compliance. The next benthic compliance survey is scheduled for May 2018.

 
 

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