TSGA IPA: Predicting marine currents, nutrients and plankton in the coastal waters of south eastern Tasmania in response to changing weather patterns
University of Tasmania (UTAS)
Christine D. Crawford
The salmonid aquaculture industry is worth about $400 million to the Tasmanian economy and directly employs over 1200 people. This industry has plans to double production by 2030, which will require finding new localities for farms that are conducive to large scale production. Storm Bay has been identified as a potential growth area and baseline environmental data are essential to inform site selection and for future assessments of any effects of salmon production on the Storm Bay environment, i.e. ensuring the industry is sustainable. Concomitant with this development is the need to establish social acceptability and to meet public expectations of a sustainable industry; this project will provide the baseline data necessary to support these requirements. Information to be provided by this project on changing environmental conditions such as temperature, salinity and nutrients, and concentrations of planktonic organisms harmful to salmon production, such as HABs and jellyfish, which are related to changing weather patterns and current flows, are also very important to farm management, especially to risk assessments underpinning Decision Support Systems. Specifically, the project will ensure a thorough understanding of how major water masses interact in Storm Bay to influence nutrient flux, algal dynamics and responses of key plankton, including HABs and jellyfish.
1. Build on available data to establish baseline environmental conditions in southeastern Tasmanian coastal waters to support informed expansion of finfish farming in this region.
2. Enhance risk assessments underpinning Decision Support Systems for effects of changing weather and current patterns on water temperature, nutrients and plankton, especially in relation to HABs and gelatinous zooplankton.
3. Trial and establish a screening program for Neoparamoeba perurans, the causative agent of AGD.
4. Obtain measurements of primary productivity in Storm Bay and link to environmental drivers.