The HUON and NSW State Government’s Aquaculture Farm is being met with more protest from individuals as well as tourist operators.
Concerned residents and business operator feel there are questions that still have not been answered.
“Why has there not been an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) done on the local marine fauna and the tourism industry that depends on it?”
“With 2,137 km of NSW coast line, why put a fish farm in the middle of an operational tourism area?”
Phillip Campey joint owner of Feet First Dive Shop Nelson Bay, told Bay News Of The Area,“This particular area is a migratory path of whales and their calves using Broughton Island as a marker.”
“Last Saturday we had 17 sets of mothers and their calves in that area between Cabbage Tree Island and Broughton Island,” Mr Campey said.
This same area supports a huge dolphin population, turtles and blue penguins as well as a seal colony on Cabbage Tree Island.
The site is directly adjacent to some of the best dive sites in the area, including Broughton Islands ‘Looking Glass dive site’.
“There must be some kind of financial gain to someone to allow the project to go ahead under an old EIA that was given for a smaller and much older snapper farm many years ago,” Trudie Blackett co owner of Feet First Dive Shop said.
“The Huon / DPI farm is in a different location, is a different size and a different fish to the previous Snapper Farm and it is unbelievable that a new EIA wasn’t needed,” Ms Blackett said.
Last week a whale was caught in one of the mooring lines in the Huon Aquaculture lease and was videoed and photographed by Imagine Cruise owner Bronny Starling.
A spokesman for the DPI strongly denied this claim believing that the whale was entrapped in net lines from another source.
Another concern that the protesters have is that this area is prime grey nurse shark territory.
“The excess feed and faecal fall out will collect under the pens and be swept into the general area by currents,
affecting the water quality, visibility and force dolphins, grey nurse sharks and the other sea mammals to search for food in alternative locations,” Phillip Campey said.
By Jewell DRURY