Aquaculture operations at Macquarie Harbour. (Photo: M. Murphy)
Tassal withdraws aquaculture cage fish waste dumping scheme
Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 02:00 (GMT + 9)
Tassal has decided not to proceed with their application to pump treated waste into Macquarie Harbour, which was welcomed by Elise Archer, Tasmanian Minister for Environment and Parks.
The firm announced it will be sending the liquids filtered from the fish waste to TasWater, and is looking into using the solid waste as agricultural fertiliser, The Advocate reported.
“I had made it clear that I was not comfortable with the previous proposal and that it was outside of community expectations. I am very pleased Tassal has … come up with an alternative proposal,” Minister Archer pointed out.
For his part, Tassal chief executive and managing director Mark Ryan said, “Taswater is the waste water management expert in Tasmania and the company is pleased to partner with it on this water solution.”
“The filtrate water will comprise 0.5 per cent of daily outflow through a co-disposal system located at Pardoe, near Devonport,” he said.
Ryan said the waste capture system had consistently captured and removed about 75 per cent of waste, leaving filtrate water for Taswater.
In a statement, TasWater said it had entered into a "commercial trade waste arrangement for a period of six months over the 2017-18 harvesting season".
From the firm, it was explained that the filtrate will bypass the STP, pumped directly into the ocean outfall pipe at Pardoe which disperses more than a kilometre offshore into the turbulent waters of Bass Strait, providing a good mixing zone.
TasWater said it had "engaged an independent environmental consultant to assess the proposal, demonstrating any environmental impact will be limited".
In this regard, Laura Kelly from Environment Tasmania flagged concerns over the antibiotic content of the wastewater and the possible presence of viruses.
For his part, Environment Protection Agency (EPA) chief Wes Ford said the "EPA has been in regular discussions with Tassal" about the management of waste from its Macquarie Harbour fish pens since before approval was granted.
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