EPA tick for fish hatch­ery

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - HE­LEN KEMP­TON

TAS­MA­NIA’S en­vi­ron­men­tal watch­dog has given Tas­sal’s Central High­lands hatch­ery pro­posal the green light.

The salmon pro­ducer says the $46 mil­lion hatch­ery will al­low it to grow larger smolt which need less time at sea to reach har­vest size.

The hatch­ery, about 6km from Hamil­ton on Wood­moor Rd, will use fresh­wa­ter from Mead­ow­bank Lake.

Used wa­ter will be treated on­site be­fore go­ing into a dam to be used as ir­ri­ga­tion on a neigh­bour­ing prop­erty. Fish waste will be treated to be­come com­post.

A Tas­sal spokesman said the hatch­ery would use re­cir­cu­la­tion tech­nol­ogy, with no wa­ter re­turned to the river and a small amount to ir­ri­ga­tion.

The En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Author­ity said the hatch­ery, which will be ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing smolt up to 600g, will pro­duce up to 1400 tonnes of fish each year.

EPA board chair War­ren Jones said the developmen­t could be man­aged in an en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able and ac­cept­able man­ner – pro­vided con­di­tions re­lat­ing to odour, noise, waste and ir­ri­ga­tion of waste­water are com­plied with.

He said on­go­ing sam­pling and modelling would be re­quired to en­sure that sea­sonal vari­a­tion and waste­water ir­ri­ga­tion did not in­crease the odour risk. The pro­posal still needs to be ap­proved by the Central High­lands Coun­cil.

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