A Water Quality and Benthic Environment Monitoring Plan has been developed by the NSW DPI/Huon Aquaculture Research Team to assess and mitigate potential impacts from operations at the Marine Aquaculture Research Lease. Implementing the Plan is a condition of the approval granted by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
The Plan includes programs to monitor water quality, macrobenthic invertebrates (i.e. worms and crustaceans larger than 1mm) and the seafloor substrate.
The Plan details:
- The locations at which monitoring will be undertaken (under farm pens, outside the Research Lease boundary and two other external sites in Providence Bay);
- The water quality parameters to be measured (ammonia, nitrate, total Nitrogen, total Phosphorus, chlorophyll a) and standards against which any changes to water quality will be assessed including ‘trigger points’ for further investigation or action to be taken;
- Identification of the frequency of sampling or the thresholds to be used to determine monitoring events (e.g. standing stock of 25, 100, 200 tonnes);
- The parameters used to identify an effect on the benthic fauna from the operation of the development (including species richness and diversity); and
- The substrate parameters to be measured to determine whether the development is impacting upon the sediment chemistry (including total organic carbon (TOC), redox, visual assessment of cores, particle size).