Macquarie Harbour biomass cap

SalmonOn 18 January 2017, the Director of the EPA issued final determinations reducing the cumulative biomass limits for salmon farms in Macquarie Harbour from 21,500t to 14,000t from 14 February – 30 April 2017.  A further determination will be made setting the biomass cap for 2017-2018 once the Director has reviewed the January 2017 benthic monitoring reports.

To read the determinations and supporting reasons, click here.  The submissions made by the salmon companies will not be released until the 2017-2018 determination is made.

The Director’s decision was made after considering a range of scientific information, as well as the “biomass aspirations” of the companies.  He notes “significant deterioration in the level of compliance with benthic indicators” and a steady decline in dissolved oxygen to levels “which present a significant risk to the ecology of the harbour.”  This was recognised as having negative implications for the endangered Maugean skate and other fauna.

Despite these findings, the Determinations will reduce the allowable biomass by 35%, but will not significantly reduce the actual biomass currently being farmed in the harbour. Huon Aquaculture has previously said that a 14,000t cap was inadequate to address deteriorating environmental conditions, and indicated that IMAS reports support reduction to at least 11,000t.

** SCS Global Services will be conducting the independent review of Tassal Operations Pty Ltd in Macquarie Harbour under the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) Salmon Standard from 13 – 17 February 2017.  SCS will be interviewing farm managers, farm workers, community and environmental groups to gain an understanding of the Macquarie Harbour operation –  if you would like to meet with SCS, email sleporati@scsglobalservices.com before 7 February 2017.

EDO Bulletin 1/2017

TassalJust in time for the weekend, the first edition of the EDO Bulletin for 2017 looks at caps on salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour, the hottest year on record and the review of fuel efficiency and vehicle emission standards (among other things!)

Welcome to 2017

15825889_1407974619213613_1885108484656697734_nHappy new year!  EDO Tasmania is looking forward to a year of working hard to protect the environment.

For anyone still looking for inspiration for your new year’s resolutions, here are a few things to consider for 2017:

  • Get involved – democracy works best when as many people as possible share their views. Sign a petition, attend a public meeting, join a community group, make a short representation about a development in your area, write a letter to the editor, or email your local member about an issue that concerns you.
  • Understand your carbon footprint, and work out the best ways to reduce it. A great calculator is available at www.epa.vic.gov.au/AGC/home.html
  • Reduce your waste – for helpful hints, check out Zero Waste Tasmania
  • Stay informed – find out more about impacts on the world around you, understand the science, talk to proponents, and ask questions about how your local member votes on key issues. Get along to the many free public events on offer (e.g. www.events.utas.edu.au/), subscribe to the EDO Tas Bulletin, or check out theyvoteforyou.org.au/
  • Get out there! Make the time to visit the places that you love, and to help others appreciate why they are special.

 

Photo credit: Arwen Dyer (www.arwendyer.com)

EDO Bulletin 23/2016

Happy Devil - Balloons_211015-1Woop woop, it’s the final EDO Tas Bulletin for 2016!

Catch up on all the end-of-year environmental and planning law news, reminders of impending deadlines for submissions, and our highlights from the year.

EDO Tas extends our warmest festive-season wishes to everyone and hopes you enjoy a relaxing break.  We’ll be back in 2017 to keep using the law to protect the environment – see you then!

Tas Wilderness Fires report released

The Tasmanian Government today released the independent report commissioned as part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Bushfire and Climate Change Research Project.

The report concludes that climate change will increase the risks of bushfire in the TWWHA in coming years, and makes a series of recommendations, including:

  • development of a comprehensive fire management plan, including clear objectives for planned burns
  • improved monitoring and detection technologies
  • improved mapping of vegetation, soil, natural and cultural values within the TWWHA
  • protocols for rapid assessment
  • more effective and timely rehabilitation activities.

To read the report, click here.

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Dan Broun: ABC News

Tasmanian RFA extension – comments invited

The Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is due to expire in November 2017.  The Federal and Tasmanian governments are committed to establishing a “rolling 20-year extension” of the RFA, with some minor amendments to the monitoring, communication, review and dispute resolution clauses.

Feedback on the proposed extension and amendments is invited by 12:30pm on 23 December 2016.  Read more and have your say.

Drop-in sessions to discuss the proposed extension are being held by the Department of State Growth:

  • 5 December 2016, 4.00–7.30pm at Peach & Plum Rooms – Huon LINC, 1 Skinner Drive, Huonville
  • 7 December 2016, 4.00–7.30pm at Wellers Inn, 36 Queen Street, Burnie
  • 8 December 2016, 4.00–7.30pm at The LINC, 51 King Street, Scottsdale

For those unable to attend these sessions, an online questionnaire is available to assist in making comments.

You can read EDO Tasmania’s critique of the current RFA system in our report, State Forests, National Interests, or in our submission to the third five-year review.

Point to Pinnacle – Go for EDO!

Our team is a hardy bunch!  On 13 November they fronted up at the Casino to take on a modified “Point to Pinnacle”  half-marathon up to Fern Tree and back.
There’s still time to show them that the cold and wet was all worthwhile – donations can be made up until 30 November.

See some more photos in our Facebook album.

Thanks to all our generous supporters, the P2P campaign has already raised over $22,000!