Recirculation Hatchery at Forest Home Judbury

Since Huon Aquaculture was established in 1986, we have grown to become Australia’s signature producer of salmon. We’re recognised around the world for the quality of our salmon and the ingenuity of our operations.

To continue to grow responsibly and remain at the forefront of our industry we must constantly improve. Right now, we are poised to make substantial advances across the business and this means investing in all areas of our operations. The purchase of the Forest Home property is another investment we are making as part of our overall growth strategy. We hope that this brochure provides you with an understanding of what we’re trying to achieve with the purchase of Forest Home and its transformation into a state-of-the art recirculation hatchery.

What are we planning?

We are planning on constructing a new state-of-the-art recirculation hatchery at the Forest Home property located at 799 North Huon Road, Judbury which will ultimately become the hub of our fresh-water operations.

New technology, improved information coupled with a strong desire to be a world leader in farming practices while growing our business sustainably will apply to all aspects of the planning, design and construction of the hatchery at Forest Home.

What is a hatchery?

The hatchery is where it all begins for our fish. Our hatchery staff care for our salmon from the moment the eggs are hand-milked from the brood fish, through hatching, and as they continue to grow into smolt when they are ready to go to sea.

The hatchery allows us to mirror the natural life-cycle of salmon, as well as allowing us to naturally synchronise growth in a way that means we can get fresh, healthy fish to your plate all year round

We have a number of hatchery locations around Tasmania which enable us to take advantage of different water sources and environmental conditions. The addition of Forest Home will enable us to build another world-class hatchery as part of our commitment to rigorous environmental and biosecurity standards.

How much will the hatchery produce?

We expect the hatchery at Forest Home will provide approximately two million salmon smolts each year to be transferred to sea at our farms in Hideaway Bay and Macquarie Harbour. This will assist Huon to meet market demand and secure smolt supply for our farms.

How many jobs will there be?

The new facility will employ between 10-12 people in the hatchery itself. In addition, the agricultural farming operation will continue to be managed as a working farm.

Advertisements for positions at the new hatchery will be placed in the Huon News and via our website in 2015.

What will it look like?

Our aim is to build the hatchery according to its surroundings to keep the agricultural “apple shed” look about the property. We are also planning to maintain the existing buildings at the site.

The height of the buildings will be restricted by excavating the main internal infrastructure into the ground. The maximum height of the hatchery building will be well below North Huon Road and the building will also be partially hidden by existing buildings and significant tree cover.

In addition, the existing trees around the farm will be retained including the remnants of the old apple orchard. The cherry orchard will be removed to make way for the new building. We will also undertake further landscaping and tree planting after construction is completed to further screen the building.

Will I be able to hear it?

Reducing the sound of the hatchery is a key element of the design and equipment purchase. To ensure any sound emitted from the operation is minimised, all production equipment will be located inside the fully insulated building. We are also purchasing equipment which will be significantly quieter than existing equipment used in most hatcheries.

What waste is generated?

Production waste is typically in the form of fish manure and waste water.

The manure will be separated from the water and routinely taken off site by a waste disposal company.

Production water will be held in a storage dam and will be used to irrigate the farm in the drier summer months.

Will I be able to smell it?

It is unlikely that any smell from the operation will be noticed beyond Forest Home.

Typically smell only occurs from the manure as it is removed from storage. We are designing the system to ensure that any odour escape is kept to an absolute minimum.

Odour minimisation and elimination are central considerations to the design and operation.

Will there be an increase in traffic?

There will be a slight increase in car traffic as employees and other service personnel come and go from the site.

The main increase in traffic will come from trucks bringing feed, oxygen and other consumables in, taking waste solids out and transferring our smolt to sea.

Truck movement will vary throughout the year and will be dependent on the season however truck movements would be unlikely to exceed 15 per day at even the busiest time of the year.

Truck movements generally start before light so they arrive at our Hideaway Bay farm at first light and carry on throughout the day until the hour before sunset.

To ensure that trucks safely enter and exit Forest Home, we are currently working with traffic engineers to determine the safest access point. Further information on what is preferred will be provided to the community when it becomes available.

Will it have an adverse impact on the nearby Huon River?

The new hatchery will be a “zero-discharge” facility which means there will be no discharges of waste to the Huon River. All production water will be re-used and irrigated onto agricultural land in a sustainable manner and will fully comply with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Will you be taking water out of the Huon River?

Water to be used in the hatchery will primarily come from a series of bores at Forest Home.

Forest Home also has a licence to take water from the Huon River for use within the hatchery if required.

When will it be built?

Clearing of the site and construction will commence in September 2014.

Construction will be completed in stages from May through to December 2015 with production commencing in August the same year.

How is the project progressing?

Stage one of construction has been completed with the first fish going into the facility in August 2015 with the remaining stages on track to be completed by the end of 2015.

Recruitment for the new facility will be carried out closer to the final completion date.

Still have some questions?

Please contact:

Jane Gallichan

Corporate Affairs Manager


p: 6295 8111