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Land-based salmon farm bid passes test

Huon Aquaculture’s plan for a future comprising land-based and sea-cage salmon farming has moved a step closer.

The Environment Protection Authority found the $30 million salmon nursery at Port Huon could be managed in an environmentally sustainable manner, with conditions.

“Various environmental issues were considered by the board in its assessment, particularly the risk of mobilising potential contaminants and the risk of nutrient enrichment of the marine environment,” chairman Warren Jones said.

The development at Whale Point is expected to be considered soon by the Huon Valley Council. The Huon Aquaculture proposal is for a salmon nursery with a recirculating aquaculture system that can produce up to 800 tonnes a year of smolt (juvenile salmon) for its marine leases. The Whale Point facility would be Australia’s first onshore salmon nursery.

Huon managing director Peter Bender said the facility would see smolt grown on land to much larger sizes (500-600g) than the present 200g before being transferred to sea.

“The aim is to reduce the time salmon spend at sea to less than 12 months,” Mr Bender said yesterday.

Mr Jones said the EPA’s conditions applied to biosecurity management, noise emission limits, contaminated soils management, odour management, and wastewater limits and monitoring.

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