On 24 March 2015, the Senate referred the following matter for to the
Environment and Communications References Committee (the committee) for inquiry
The regulation of the fin-fish
aquaculture industry in Tasmania, with particular regard to:
adequacy and availability of data on waterway health;
impact on waterway health, including to threatened and endangered species;
adequacy of current environmental planning and regulatory mechanisms;
interaction of state and federal laws and regulation;
economic impacts and employment profile of the industry; and
other relevant matters.
The committee was initially required to report by 10 August 2015.
However, on 10 August 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time to report
until 18 August 2015. On 18 August 2015, the Senate agreed to a further
extension of time to report until 21 August 2015.
Conduct of the inquiry
The committee advertised the inquiry on its website and in The
Australian newspaper. The committee also wrote to relevant organisations
and individuals inviting submissions by 1 June 2015. The committee received 103
submissions, which were published on the committee's website and are listed at
The committee held public hearings relating to its inquiry in Hobart on 15
and 16 July 2015. As well as witnesses from organisations and the Tasmanian Government,
the committee allocated time during the hearing on 15 July for individuals who
had provided submissions, with an opportunity to make short statements to the
committee. A list of witnesses who appeared at the hearings may be found at
On 14 July 2015, the committee undertook an inspection of Tassal's
Rockwood hatchery, a tour of fish farming activities on the Huon River and an
inspection of Tassal's Huonville Smokehouse. While undertaking its tour of the
Huon River, the committee was able to watch monitoring activities being
conducted by Aquenal Pty Ltd.
The committee wishes to thank the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association
Ltd, Tassal Group, Huon Aquaculture, Petuna Seafoods Tasmania and Aquenal Pty
Ltd for their assistance in facilitating the committee's inspection. The
inspection was invaluable in providing the committee with an understanding of
the operation of the salmonid industry and the way in which companies integrate
activities from hatchery to processing the end product.
The committee would like to thank all the organisations, individuals and
government departments that contributed to the inquiry.
Structure of the report
This chapter outlines the conduct of the inquiry. Chapter 2 sets out
background information relating to the fin-fish aquaculture industry in
Tasmania, the Tasmanian Government regulatory framework, research and
development activities, third-party certification of the fin-fish companies and
public perception of the industry in Tasmania.
Chapters 3 and 4 address waterway health. Issues covered in chapter 3 include
adequacy of monitoring, access to information and independence of monitoring,
analysis and research. The discussion in chapter 4 canvasses issues including
in-water cleaning of nets, broadscale impacts on rocky reefs and hatcheries on
inland rivers. This chapter also includes comments on threatened and endangered
species and marine debris.
Chapter 5 outlines the current environmental planning and regulatory
mechanisms pertaining to the fin-fish aquaculture industry and the adequacy of
Chapter 6 canvasses the interaction of state and federal laws and
regulation and, in particular, comments on fin-fish aquaculture in Macquarie
Chapter 7 examines the fin-fish aquaculture industry's contribution to
the Tasmanian economy and employment.
Chapter 8 examines issues related to the possible impact of the fin-fish
aquaculture industry on human health.
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