Greens welcome Tasmania’s lowimpact hatcheries
THE Tasmanian Greens have welcomed moves by the aquaculture industry towards a more environmentally friendly fish hatchery system.
Petuna Aquaculture has opened a new $10 million recirculation hatchery in Cressy in the state’s north that will produce 3.5 million fish per year.
The system will reuse nearly all of its water and the company plans to phase out the use of traditional flowthrough ponds, which have raised environmental concerns about fish waste entering nearby waterways.
Petuna CEO Dr Mark Porter told ABC News the new system was more efficient: ‘It uses less than five per cent of the water that a traditional [flow-through] system would.
‘We’re using less than 200 litres per minute in the system and that’s roughly equivalent to a bath tap running 24 hours a day.
‘Because it’s complete environmental control, through temperature, photo period and salinity - it gives us the opportunity to put the very best fish to sea every time.’
The facility will grow salmon and trout destined for the company’s ocean leases near Satellite Island in the south-east and Macquarie Harbour off the west coast. The facility also comes with 26 new jobs.
As Tasmania’s aquaculture industry chases its goal to produce $1 billion worth of fish a year by 2030, the Tasmanian Greens said adopting the recirculation system was critical.
Huon Aquaculture and Tassal have both installed similar hatcheries. The Environmental Protection Agency and island fisheries service are currently reviewing the performance of hatcheries to decide if they should be regulated. The review is expected to be published soon.