Macquarie Harbour will now take limited stocks of salmon in a new joint farming operation between two of the states biggest producers.
Tassal and Petuna Seafoods will have to report to the Tasminian EPA (environmental protection agency) on a monthly basis. They will also have to be prepared to move fish pens to other sections of the harbour if problems arise with disease or the marine environment according to ABC news.
Under the new arrangement, a maximum biomass limit of 3000 tonnes will apply to the lease, as will a total feed input limit of 4500 tonnes, to be set for July 2018–May 2019.
The news is not welcomed by environmentalists. In 2015 Tassal was ordered to remove fish from Macquarie Harbour, an area closest to a World Heritage Area (WHA) border, after concerns about deteriorating water quality in the harbour, disease and fish deaths caused by a storm.
Petuna chief executive officer Ruben Alvarez said the new strategy would allow for longer fallowing between production cycles representing “a material shift in how farms in the harbour have been managed in the past and will achieve significant biosecurity and environmental improvements in the long term.”