Aquaculture operators must report and remove marine farming debris in a timely manner, to reduce the risk of navigational safety, marine wildlife and environment hazards.
What is Marine Farming Debris?
Marine farming debris is any aquaculture equipment located in state waters outside of a marine farming lease area, including the shoreline, without authorisation.
Examples of marine farming debris includes buoys, pipes, ropes, oyster baskets and associated equipment components that have come adrift from marine farming operations.
Marine farming debris can injure marine wildlife, cause hazards to navigational safety, threaten natural habitats and interfere with surrounding aquaculture operations.
Managing Marine Farming Debris
The risks and hazards associated with marine farming debris can be reduced through the timely reporting of debris and management strategies implemented by the Department. Aquaculture operators must:
- report loss of marine farming equipment and make all reasonable efforts to recover marine farming debris as soon as is reasonably possible
ensure that all floating aquaculture equipment is identifiable (finfish only)
supply to the Department a register identifying the equipment (finfish only)
notify Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) of any hazards to navigation.
To ensure compliance as part of its Compliance and Inspection Program, the Aquaculture Branch also conducts regular shoreline inspections and marine farming equipment audits.
Marine farming equipment located outside of a lease area is a breach of s. 94(1)(b) of the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995
. When applicable, authorised officers will take compliance action, which may include an infringement notice and fine.
Reporting Marine Farming Debris
Marine farming debris outside of a lease area, for example, on the water or washed up on the shoreline should be reported to the Department as soon as possible.
If marine farming debris is collected at the time of sighting, please retain a sample to enable further investigation. Taking photographs of the debris can also help assist with an investigation.
If you see marine farming debris that poses a navigational hazard, please contact Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) on 0418 145 439.
If a whale, dolphin or seal (dead or alive) is entangled in marine farming debris, contact the Department’s Marine Conversation Program via the whale hotline 1427 WHALES (0427 942 537).
Do not attempt to disentangle the animal. Wild animals can present a significant safety risk.
All other marine farming debris should be reported via the online reporting form: