Healthy rivers are a critical component of the success of our freshwater hatchery sites; which is why we routinely participate in AusRivAS surveys. The Australian Rivers Assessment System was established in 1994 by the Federal Government to quickly identify any impact on the in-stream biota.
Ongoing, independent testing results show we are having no negative impact, and in some instances, the river health is better downstream from our hatcheries. This testing regime is more rigorous than required of the mining industry but at Huon we are happy to go above and beyond because if we don’t look after our environment the company’s future is somewhat limited! We also voluntarily provide the environmental regulator with a copy of our results.
Highlights from the 2022 report include:
- waterways downstream of all five tested facilities are in very good health, with two sites receiving an X rating; this is the highest rating and indicates the presence and diversity of macro-invertebrates found in sites considered as pristine.
- Results near Huon’s Springfield hatchery in the North East were particularly impressive – the river recorded its first X rating since AusRivas began assessing the site in 2017. The rating for the Great Forester River was higher downstream than upstream which is an outstanding result.
- Another outstanding result was for the Russell River at Lonnavale in the Huon Valley which also scored an X rating downstream of the hatchery – sampling results conducted by the independent consultant for the past four years shows the Russell River has consistently received an X rating for macroinvertebrates downstream of the facility.
- The rating for the Derwent River downstream of Huon’s Meadowbank hatchery in the Derwent Valley was B, compared with C upstream, meaning the water downstream scored higher than the water upstream.
In addition to AusRivAS assessments, all of Huon’s freshwater sites are subject to extensive regulation and monitoring, including both daily field and monthly laboratory testing of the nutrients, oxygen levels, pH and the conductivity of wastewater leaving the sites.