Neighbours of Fish Farming will vehemently oppose plans by TASSAL to establish on Tasmania’s east coast without adequate modelling and environmental and community impact assessments of the proposal.
TASSAL plans to install 20 new pens holding 800,000 fish in Oakhampton Bay near Triabunna within two years.
Sediment, current and tidal modelling specific to the Mercury Passage must be undertaken to establish the baseline for future benchmarking of impacts on marine ecosystems, commercial and recreation fishers and local communities.
The 2015 Petuna fish kill in Macquarie Harbour, caused by a storm surge releasing accumulated surplus food and excretory products into the water and Huon Aquaculture’s December 2015 report to the environment department (DPIPWE) that its nitrogen input into waters in the Huon River and Port Esperance area from fish feed was up by 42 per cent in the period demonstrates the inadequate regulation and management of fish farming activities in Tasmania.
The current proposal by TASSAL falls under a Marine Farming Development Plan (MFDP) dated 1998 and last modified in 2010.
Clearly there is no current science on the impacts on the proposal. The MFDP does however acknowledge “The addition of organic material and fish feed results in nutrients in the form of surplus food and excretory products being released to the sediments and waters. Solid wastes accumulate on the seabed, especially in areas of poor current flow, causing a change in the benthic community structure, while soluble nutrients released to the water column can increase the risk of toxic algal blooms”
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