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DPI Updated Response to representations made by NAC Residents
mpicklesThu, 12/09/2019 - 9:49am
DPI has sent an update to North Arm Cove Residents Association in response to a number of representations made to the government about oyster farming on the western foreshore of North Arm Cove. The last update provided to residents was 31 May 2019 reference OUT19/7240(2).
There are two leases in North Arm Cove - Norrth lease - Sweetwater Oysters (OL86/138) will replace the inshore 100mm posts with screw anchors, once available, to secure the lines. South Lease - XL Oysters (OL86/140) will relocate oyster cultivation to within their lease boundary and remove non-compliant marker posts
A comprehensive list of concerns, responses and actions by DPI and Fisheries is found in the document and without prejudice some of those are listed here;
Regarding Sewerage Pollution - Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 it is a requirement that pollution events must be reported. This means that all sewerage spill into the cove from residents systems must be addressed.
Debris - The local industry has been advised it is their responsibility to collect any debris that has come from leases. DPI has requested industry establish a contact to advise of any sightings of debris. While this is being established please advise DPI Aquaculture on 4982 1232.
New Activity Planned - Regarding other leases in North Arm Cove, the department offers leases by tender biannually. Applications for the September/October 2019 tender have closed and a number of leases in Port Stephens including the eastern foreshore of North Arm Cove have been applied for. DPI will ensure details of the tender are sent to the North Arm Cove Residents Association.
Old Posts are to be reported to Fisheries for removal.
Environmental Impact - DPI has responded to a resident requesting an environmental impact statement in relation to activities associated with oyster farming. It is the department’s assessment that floating cultivation has less impact on sedimentation than post and rail cultivation infrastructure that is authorised for use on both leases. The department has assessed the use of floating cultivation in the location using legislated guidelines and determined the potential for impact is not likely to significantly affect the environment and that an environmental impact statement is not required.
DPI will take the concerns raised by residents regarding the potential for environmental impact from floating basket cultivation to the NSW Aquaculture Research Advisory Committee in October 2019 to consider whether further research is required from that already undertaken or is underway.
Option of relocation of leases. DPI is facilitating this meeting in-line with the Extinguishment of Priority Oyster Aquaculture Area policy O072. Reference to the policy is made at Section 5.2 of the NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy.
Increased Inspections: DPI is reviewing the frequency of inspections for OL86/138 and OL86/140 from the standard triennial period to annually. The southern lease XL Oysters (OL86/140) will relocate oyster cultivation to within their lease boundary and remove non-compliant marker posts.
Good Neighbour Policy DPI will take concerns raised by residents to the next NSW Shellfish Committee meeting in November 2019. At this meeting the issue of permit holders’ awareness of the provisions of the NSW Oyster Industry Sustainable Aquaculture Strategy that includes the “good neighbour policy” will be raised and promoted to all in the NSW oyster industry.
NACRA will organise a meeting with Fisheries, Oyster Farmers and other stakeholders following the AGM in October.