Wildlife protection

Our farms are in beautiful and remote locations, which we share with a vast array of wildlife.

The welfare of the local wildlife informs how we design our pens and our standard operating procedures – and we also have a dedicated team of wildlife officers.

Birds 

Salmon farms are seen by birds as a place to perch and a source of food – from the fish and the fish feed.

The birds commonly found at our farms include cormorants (black-faced, great and pied), seagulls (Pacific, silver and kelp), eagles (mostly sea but occasionally wedge-tailed), and the occasional penguin and petrel.

Our new Fortress Pens prevent birds from becoming entangled or drowning, as they have been specifically developed to do that. The design includes higher, more taught nets that are well above the water and therefore keep the birds away from the fish and the fish feed. The fully enclosed net using smaller, 60mm mesh size keeps out all birds, including the smaller cormorants that have been able to get through any mesh above 75mm. Each Fortress Pen is installed with an escape hatch to provide an exit in the unlikely event of an entry.

Huon has partnered with the Raptor & Wildlife Refuge to develop a bird safety program that trains Huon employees on how to safely free entangled birds of different species as well as how to best care for them. Injured birds are then taken to the refuge for further treatment and recovery.

Read about out bird interactions here. 


Seals

Our Fortress Pens also prevent seals from entering, which means that they are unable to become trapped. Seals are also unable to access the walkways, reducing the likelihood of aggressive seals interacting with employees.

In the past there have been occasions where we have worked in collaboration with the government to manage persistent or aggressive seals that pose a threat to the safety of our employees and our fish, such as relocation.

Relocation event Number of seals relocated
July 2015 3
August 2015 1
September 2015 4
October 2015 2
November 2015 2
December 2015 0
January 2016 0
February 2016 0
March 2016 0
April 2016 1
May 2016 0
June 2016 5
July 2016 6
August 2016 14

Huon has not relocated any seals since August 2016 and we do not anticipate any further seal relocation events in the future.