Aquaculture, like all farming practices, has the potential to impact the environment through the introduction of nutrients, which is why Salmon Tasmania supports the continuous, rigorous investigations and monitoring into farming operations.
- The impact of salmon farming on the environment has been the subject of 30+ years of scientific investigation. A variety of reports, surveys and research exists covering a range of potential impacts, from benthic (seabed) changes, near-farm seafloor, and broad scale (far from farm) water quality changes. Member companies comply with a range of environmental monitoring processes; some for the regulator, some for compliance reasons, some for internal purposes while other monitoring is linked to research collaboration. In addition, as part of marine licence conditions, leases are regularly fallowed to ensure a healthy and sustainable seafloor underneath pens. All marine farm and environmental licence conditions are publicly available https://maps.thelist.tas.gov.au/listmap/app/list/map
- Since 2009 the Broadscale Environmental Monitoring Program (BEMP) has monitored a wide variety of parameters related to both water and seafloor health in and around Tasmanian salmon farms. While sediment sampling occurs yearly, water samples are taken monthly or fortnightly depending on season. The BEMP is conducted under the auspices of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and reviewed by the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and has found no evidence of environmental damage caused by the aquaculture industry. BEMP reports are publicly available at www.epa.tas.gov.au.
- In Storm Bay, CSIRO’s research history began with a water quality study performed between 1985 and 1989 and has recently continued with further extensive studies using a state-of-the art underwater glider, collecting data including temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. From 2009-15 IMAS performed a similar study to CSIRO’s 1985-89 work and this world-renowned research institution continues to run a wide variety of programs monitoring the Tasmanian farmed salmon industry and the marine environment – read here www.salmoninteractionsteam.org
Research and Development
For 30+ years, Tasmanian waters have been, and will continue to be, extensively researched and monitored by world class scientific organisations. Research into all aspects of salmon farming operations is a cornerstone of our industry and it is through ongoing investment that the Tasmanian salmon farming industry can remain at the forefront, internationally.
- The Tasmanian salmonid industry developed a strong research and development (R&D) culture right from its very inception. Salmon Enterprises of Tasmania (SALTAS) funded R&D during the first 10 years of the industry through a 25% levy on the sale of smolt and the operation of a model sea farm at Dover. The R&D undertaken by the salmon industry has resulted in many hundreds of published papers in scientific literature, reports and seminar/conference proceedings.
- Through an MOU with the national Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), the salmon industry was one of few aquaculture and wild fishery industries in Australia that committed its full 0.25% Gross Value of Product (GVP) to research under the Federal Research and Development Corporation system. The FRDC and salmonid farming industry have been investing in research on salmon farming since the early 1990’s ($46 million worth of research across some 120 projects). In that same period, there have been more than 260 FRDC collaborative projects (includes salmon industry partnership agreement (IPA) projects) which have been relevant to the Tasmanian salmon industry totalling over $130 million of investment by FRDC, industry and third parties such as universities, CSIRO etc.
- The Tasmanian salmon industry has also been involved in four Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) since its inception – Aquaculture CRC, Sustainable Aquaculture of Finfish CRC (Aquafin CRC), Seafood CRC and the Blue Economy CRC.
- Member companies also undertake internal R&D projects providing results that underpin scientifically-based decision-making across commercial operations.
Information about R&D undertaken across the Tasmanian salmon industry can be sourced from multiple independent sources including:
www.imas.utas.edu.au/IMAS (Fisheries & Aquaculture) and www.salmoninteractionsteam.org