Years of research, guided by independent modelling
CSIRO and the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Science (IMAS) have been conducting research in Storm Bay since the mid 1980s, and this research is ongoing (see here).
One of the outcomes of CSIRO’s Tasmanian and national oceanography work is a modelling tool, CONNIE3*, which allows people world-wide to explore connectivity in marine environments. This publically-available resource was used when considering the expansion of salmon farming in Storm Bay.
On the basis of this modelling and other consultations, Tasmania, exercising an abundance of caution, is considering an initial cap on the extent of farming which is well below that which the modelling suggest would be appropriate for the bay. While initial leases have been granted, farming licenses and environmental permits must still be obtained, each of which involves a further level of scrutiny and oversight.
To enable informed decisions to be made around expansion in the area and to safeguard the health of Storm Bay, four ongoing monitoring programs are underway:
Marine Observing System/Monitoring Program Project
Biogeochemical Model Project;
Governance and Communications Project; and
Model Decision Support Tool Project;
The extent of salmon farming in the bay will be sensibly revised only after appropriate research and review.