Tasmania’ s peak environment group is demanding that the EPA release immediately the full results of Tassal’s waste trials in Macquarie Harbour, after a report released by the company late on Friday claimed they were capturing more than 100 per cent of fish waste produced.

“Tassal claims they are capturing up to 122% of waste produced. A high school maths student could see these figures don’t add up and that it simply isn’t possible for a fish to produce waste it hasn’t consumed. But rather than presenting all feed figures, Tassal claims a fish ‘defecation lag’ is the reason for their ability to magically capture more waste than their fish have consumed,” says Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania.

“There are millions of dollars, an industry’s reputation and the survival of an endangered species riding on these trials. It is insulting that Tassal has released a report with figures that don’t even add up and utterly perplexing that the EPA is allowing this.”

“Equally worrying is the lack of detail on the ‘faecal binder’ Tassal credits for clumping their fish’s faeces to make it easier to catch. What is in this binder? What are the impacts on fish health and welfare of essentially being constipated, so that Tassal can catch their poo in tarps?”

“With ingredients being declared commercial in confidence, it is also unclear whether this particular feed additive has been approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.”

“The EPA has also failed to release any water quality data from these trials – we need to see oxygen readings and figures on the amount of marine life alive under pens before the public and markets can have any confidence in Tassal’s tarp trials and chances of recovery in Macquarie Harbour,” Ms Kelly said.

Tassal’s report can be accessed here. Page 7 contains details of feed input and waste output, with a maximum of 6 days of information on feed input and gaps of up to 5 days in dates for which feed data is provided.
Laura Kelly, Strategy Director, Environment Tasmania