By establishing Australia’s first onshore Salmon Nursery, we will be able to grow smolt larger on land before putting them to sea.
A salmon nursery will grow fish on after they have left our hatcheries. Right now we grow our fish on land in hatcheries all over the state. We grow them to sizes of around 200 grams before they are transferred to the ocean where they will grow to harvest size.
As they will grow larger on land, fish will go from spending 15 months at sea to less than twelve months. They will be less exposed to biosecurity risks and predators, it is a safe working environment for employees and all effluent is reused and recycled.
Whale Point is our first exploratory step forward to investigate the potential of land-based farming. At this stage we don’t intend to move to entirely land-based farming as it hasn’t been proven to work commercially anywhere in the world at this point in time. We will however, explore the potential of growing fish to harvest size entirely on land in the coming years.
We are investing in future technology. The operation will use world class recirculation technology that will purify up to 98 per cent of the water used so it can be re-used over and over again. The water that isn’t reused will be disinfected and undergo a nutrient removal process so that it can be used to bathe fish on our well-boat, the Ronja Huon.
It will include a 106 metre by 83 metre building housing twelve circular grow-out tanks, four smaller grading tanks, water treatment facilities and a staff office
During the construction phase the project will employ about 200 people – and we have a proud tradition of hiring local 85 times out of 100. In the longer term the nursery will create about 30 ongoing jobs.
The important questions for Port Huon residents are:
Will I see it?
The new facility will be built lower than the old paper mill building which will be deconstructed and used in the new facility. We do not intend to remove the trees screening the site from Port Huon and the building will be forest green to blend in with the native bush. To limit light wash, we will use downward facing, restricted arc LED’s around the outside of the building.
Will I hear it?
We have learned from our experience with recirculation technology that noise must be mitigated at the outset. At Forest Home we installed specially designed noise dampening louvered vents and wall insulation, but found we needed further noise reduction. We have engaged specialist noise consultants who have identified where we can mitigate noise issues from the outset. These have been incorporated into the design at Whale Point. Whale Point will include insulated deflection panels, sound insulation in walls and insulated double doors on rooms housing machinery. It will utilise quiet fans for gas exchange in the facility rather than noisy blowers. Modelling has indicated that noise from the facility will be lower than background at the nearest residence.
Will I smell it?
Waste feed and faeces will be removed from the system and treated immediately. The treatment process will remove water producing a dry friable substance with little odour. This will be stored in sealed containers which will be taken away by licensed contractors to a composting facility.
What is the time frame?
- The design and consultation process will continue until September 2017
- Site demolition and clean up to take place from June until September 2017
- Bulk earthworks are hoped to start in October 2017
- Construction of the facility will be completed by October 2018
- The first delivery of fry will arrive on site in November 2018, for transfer to sea from the facility in April 2019
If you have questions about this or any of our operations, please don’t hesitate to contact Jane Ryan, Huon’s Community Engagement Advisor.
03 6239 4227