Huon Aquaculture recently commissioned a report by renowned freshwater ecologist Peter Davies titled, Update on Nutrient, Benthic Algal levels and Aquatic Fauna in the Russell River and their relationship to discharges from the Huon Aquaculture Company (HAC) farm facility which is now publicly available by clicking here.
The findings of the report show that outflow from the flow-through facility at the Lonnavale Hatchery is not having any significant adverse impact on the waterway and Davies (2015) concludes his report with the statement, “The overall ecological impact appears slight.”
The report also confirms that benthic algae in the Russell River are not harmful and that trends in algal biomass at sites downstream from the facility are largely controlled by natural factors.
The Davies Report 2015 shows that there has been an increase in the abundance of fauna in the Russell River, including water-quality sensitive aquatic animal and fish species, including trout. In particular, the increase in abundance of water-quality sensitive aquatic animals downstream from the Russell River Hatchery is a strong sign that water quality is good in these areas and no harm is being cause by algal cover or biomass.
The Davies Report 2015 also found that, “in a high energy river such as the Russell River, longer term legacy effects of the preceding nutrient or organic loadings are extremely unlikely”. That means that it is unlikely that there is any build-up or historical nutrient effect on the River from Huon’s operations.
Huon’s Lonnavale Hatchery operates under an Environmental Protection Notice (EPN) which guides environmental management practices for the facility. We continue to operate responsibly and within the requirements of the EPN and will use it to help reduce our already low environmental impact.