Keeping our salmon in one place means that we can;
- keep them safe from predators;
- keep them in the right environmental conditions; and
- keep watch over them so we know quickly if there are any problems with their health and wellbeing.
It is unlikely that fish that escape would survive for very long in the wild.
Huon has not experienced a significant salmon loss in over 3 years as a result of our sustained and diligent focus on preventing salmon escapes.
Historically, salmon losses have resulted from tears in nets as a result of seal predation (seals chewing through nets), net failure or severe weather events.
The roll-out of our Fortress Pens has reduced the risk of salmon escape events further by;
- Preventing seals from chewing holes in the net
- Greater resilience to extreme weather events
- Improved monitoring and maintenanceIn addition, Huon Aquaculture takes the following measures to prevent escapes at all farms (including Macquarie Harbour):
- comprehensive diving regime to routinely monitor net integrity; the frequency of dive inspections is increased following severe weather events, movement of stocked pens, net changes and transfer of stock between pens
- all newly deployed nets are dived prior to fish stocking
- all stock transactions (grading, swim-throughs) are undertaken in weather conditions that do not present an unacceptable risk of fish escape
- all pens, nets and mooring systems are designed for the prevailing weather conditions, currents, water depths and seabed characteristics
- integrity of all farm systems are checked and repaired as a matter of priority after severe weather events.
Staff education and training are at the centre of our approach and all farm employees are part of the development and implementation of standard operating procedures to minimise the likelihood of salmon escapes.