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Code of Best Practice
 Freshwater Finfish
Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

      Code of Best Practice
          Freshwater Finfish

                           November 1999
                        Revised February 2006

                                Prepared by:
                             Dallas J Donovan
                         Kuruma Australia Pty Ltd
                - Aquaculture & Environmental Consultants -

                                   for the
                Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries,
                                  and the
                 Queensland Finfish Aquaculture Industry.

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION                                                                              5
 What is a Code of Practice                                                                5
 Need for a Code of Practice                                                               6
 What this Code of Practice means                                                          6
ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT                                                      7
EXPECTED ENVIRONMENTAL OUTCOMES                                                           7
 Outcomes                                                                                  7
POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS                                                           8
 Water Quality                                                                             8
 Aquatic Flora & Fauna                                                                     8
 Terrestrial Flora & Fauna                                                                 9
 Hydrology                                                                                 9
 Groundwater                                                                               9
 Odour                                                                                     9
 Noise                                                                                     9
 Chemicals                                                                                10
BEST PRACTICE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT                                                    10
 Site Selection                                                                           10
 Farm Design and Planning                                                                 11
 Construction                                                                             12
 Water Discharges                                                                         12
 Harvesting                                                                               14
 Translocation                                                                            14
 Genetic Resource Management                                                              16
 Sediment Management                                                                      17
 Noise                                                                                    17
 Odours                                                                                   17
 Chemical Use                                                                             18
 Predator Management                                                                      18
 Disease Management                                                                       19
 Solid Wastes                                                                             20
 Environmental Contingency Plans                                                          21
ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLAINTS                                                                  21
ENVIRONMENTAL RECORDS                                                                     22
CODE OF PRACTICE REVIEW                                                                   22
RELEVANT ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION                                                        22
 Relevant Environmental Legislation (Commonwealth)                                        22
 Relevant Environmental Legislation (Qld.)                                                23
DEFINITIONS                                                                               25
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING                                                            27
APPENDIX A - ENVIRONMENTAL CONTINGENCY PLAN                                               29
 Sample Environmental Contingency Plan                                                    30
 Environmental Contingency Plan - Blank                                                   31

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

                                                    environmental impacts due to the culture
Introduction                                        of finfish in Queensland. This will result in
                                                    consistency of performance and clarity of
The Queensland finfish aquaculture
                                                    environmental objectives across the
industry through the Technical Advisory
Group has formulated this Code of
Practice in recognition of the industry’s
                                                    What is a Code of Practice
need to become recognised as an
environmentally responsible and                     A Code of Practice provides a self
sustainable industry and to assist industry         imposed set of rules for the carrying out of
members define standards of                         a specific activity. It is the responsibility of
performance.                                        the proponent of a Code of Practice to
                                                    define the intended purpose and to specify
The finfish aquaculture sector covers               the particular operational practices to be
many different species, production                  adopted.
techniques and environments.
                                                    A Code of Practice does not however
It is the intention of this Code of Practice to     replace the need for aquaculturists to
specifically include both marine and                obtain and comply with all necessary
freshwater hatcheries and grow out                  approvals and licenses.
facilities for all species with the exception
of eel farming and cage culture.                    In Queensland a Code of Practice may
                                                    become a legal document, and may be
                                                    called up to prescribe appropriate legal
Specifically the document aims to:

 Be relevant to Queensland finfish
                                                    In Queensland, every person has a
                                                    general environmental duty to take all
 Be practical;
                                                    reasonable and practicable measures to
 Provide options for management;
                                                    prevent or minimise environmental harm.
 Be flexible;
 Provide a mechanism for                           Environmental harm is unlawful unless it is
  environmental self regulation;                    authorised under an Environmental
 Fall within the legal requirements of             Authority, Environmental Protection Policy,
  Queensland’s Environmental Protection             an Environmental Management Program,
   Act 1994, Environmental Protection               a license, an approval, an Environmental
   (Interim) Regulations 1995 and relevant          Protection Order or an emergency
   Environmental Protection Policies;               direction. Additionally it may be a breach of
 Fall within the requirements of the               the Fisheries Act to undertake practices
  Fisheries Act 1994, Fisheries                     which adversely impact on fisheries
  Regulations 1995 and relevant fisheries           resources or are specifically regulated
  policies, and;                                    within the legislation.
 Provide new entrants to the industry
  with clear standards of performance.              The EPA allows the Minister for the
                                                    Environment to approve this Code of
It is the objective of this document to             Practice, which states ways for finfish
provide best practice management                    aquaculturists to achieve compliance with
techniques to minimise the potential of

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

the General Environmental Duty of Care              must be minimised through appropriate
and so be within the law as a way of                practices.
managing activities that cause or are likely
to cause environmental harm. An                     What this Code of Practice
approved Code of Practice is not a                  means
regulation under the EPA, however it does
                                                    Compliance with this Code of Practice will
have legal standing.
                                                    ensure that Queensland finfish
                                                    aquaculturists minimise their potential
Under the Environmental Protection Act
                                                    environmental impacts both now and in the
1994, an approved Code of Practice has
                                                    future, ensuring that industry members
particular value as a defence to a charge
                                                    meet their General Environmental Duty of
of causing unlawful environmental harm.
                                                    Care and additional responsibilities under
By following the accepted Code of
                                                    the Fisheries Act.
Practice, finfish aquaculturists will be able
to show “due diligence” and meet the legal
                                                    This Code of Practice provides
requirements of the General
                                                    environmental objectives, principles and
Environmental Duty of Care.
                                                    management practices to achieve
                                                    compliance with the general environmental
It must be recognised that under the EPA,
                                                    duty of care. Due to the variance within the
no penalties can be directly imposed on a
                                                    finfish aquaculture industry in regard to
finfish farmer for failing to follow advice in
                                                    sites, species, techniques, financial
a Code of Practice approved by the
                                                    positions, markets and environmental
Minister. Likewise, no protection can be
                                                    conditions, not all principles and
afforded either.
                                                    management practices as proposed in this
                                                    document will be relevant to all facilities.
NOTE: Approval for this Code of Practice
has still to be obtained from the Minister
for the environment.

Need for a Code of Practice
Due to the nature or size of many finfish
aquaculture facilities, they are not defined
as Environmentally Relevant Activities
under the EPA and hence are not afforded
protection under the conditions of an
issued authority. Operations carried out
within the guidelines presented in an
accepted Code of Practice are provided
some protection under the EPA.

Finfish aquaculture operations culture fish
species which may not be endemic to the
area of culture, or supply fingerlings
through stocking programs for release into
natural ecosystems. These activities
provide inherent ecological risks which

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

                                                   community’s resources such that, our total
Aquaculturists must undertake the                  quality of life, both now and in the future, is
necessary management practices where it            secured.
can be demonstrated to be reasonable and
practicable to do so. In determining if a          This Code of Practice supports the
practice is reasonable and practicable,            principles of Ecologically Sustainable
consideration must be given to the                 Development.
                                                   The management practices set out in this
 the current state of technology in the           Code of Practice provide a responsible
  industry;                                        approach to environmental management
 the financial considerations of the              while ensuring that finfish farms will
  action;                                          continue to be economically viable.
 the likelihood of successful outcomes
  from the action;                                 Expected Environmental
 the nature of the harm or potential              Outcomes
  harm; and,
 the sensitivity of the receiving
                                                   New and existing finfish aquaculturists
                                                   must achieve the following in order to
This Code of Practice does not remove the
                                                   comply with their legal responsibilities to
legal requirements that finfish
                                                   protect the environment. Compliance may
aquaculturists have under their
                                                   be demonstrated if all relevant Expected
Environmental Authority, Aquaculture
                                                   Environmental Outcomes can be shown to
License or other approvals. After suitable
                                                   have been met.
consultation and acceptance of the Code
of Practice, future government approvals
                                                   All reasonable and practicable measures
may include compliance with the Code of
                                                   must be adopted to:
Practice as a condition.

                                                   1. ensure that translocation of species
Compliance with this Code of Practice is
                                                      only occurs for species as approved by
not only likely to reduce the potential
                                                      the administering authority for any
environmental impacts of finfish
                                                      specific catchment, sub catchment or
aquaculture, it is likely to improve the
                                                      individual site;
profitability of existing and new farms
                                                   2. optimise genetic resources;
through reduced operating costs.
                                                   3. prevent the release or culture of
                                                      noxious fish species;
Ecologically Sustainable
                                                   4. minimise the clearing of native
Development                                           vegetation and associated fauna
The concept of Ecologically Sustainable               habitats;
Development has evolved from the World             5. ensure that a finfish aquaculture
Commission on Environment and                         operation does not lead to
Development’s report, Our Common                      unacceptable direct or indirect impacts
Future (1987). It can be generally defined            to aquatic ecosystems;
as conserving and enhancing the

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

6. ensure that a finfish aquaculture               The possible impacts of finfish farm
    operation minimises the discharge of           effluent on water quality include:
    nutrients into the receiving
    environment;                                    creation of eutrophic zones within the
7. ensure that a finfish aquaculture                 receiving waters;
    operation does not lead to significant          increased fluctuation of dissolved
    deterioration in groundwater quality,            oxygen levels;
    through unacceptable increases in               creation of visible plumes;
    groundwater salinity or nitrates;               accumulation of nutrients within the
8. minimise impacts on noise levels at               receiving waters.
    noise sensitive locations at sensitive
    times;                                         Aquatic Flora & Fauna
9. minimise the impacts of odours at
                                                   The direct impacts to aquatic flora and
    sensitive places;
                                                   fauna generally relate to the disturbance of
10. minimise impacts on the environment
                                                   wetland areas during the construction
    from storage and use of pond
                                                   phase of development.

                                                   Further potential impacts are related to
The Expected Environmental Outcomes
                                                   changes to stream hydrology caused by
will be achieved if producers adopt the
                                                   the pumping or discharge of water or the
appropriate management practices
                                                   construction of barriers to flow such as
outlined in this Code of Practice.
                                                   dams or other structures and the
                                                   subsequent alienation of wetland areas or
Potential Environmental                            changes to stream morphology. Such
Impacts                                            changes have the potential to impact on
                                                   migratory species and nursery areas for
                                                   juvenile fish.
Water Quality
Discharges from a finfish farm has the             Further potential impacts exist through
potential to create significant changes to         changes to genetic integrity through the
the quality of the receiving waters. The           depletion of broodstock in a waterway or
major concerns relate to the discharge of:         the restocking of large numbers of
                                                   individuals from restricted gene pools.
 dissolved metabolic wastes from finfish          Resulting in reduced genetic diversity
  activity and the biological breakdown of         within natural fish populations.
  waste feed particles and finfish faecal
  matter;                                          Potential impacts may also be attributed to
 particulate nitrogen and phosphorous,            the release or escape of non-endemic
  originating primarily from organic matter        species which have the potential to
  as finfish faecal matter, algal cells,           introduce pathogens and parasites, prey
  waste feed particles and soil particles;         on or compete with endemic fish.
 suspended solids from particulate
  organic matter and erosion of pond
  floor, walls and discharge channels;
 excess phytoplankton.

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Aquatic flora and fauna are potentially            Construction of dams and barriers within
affected by the disturbance of acid                catchments also have the potential to
sulphate soils during construction of finfish      impact on downstream morphology,
aquaculture facilities and the subsequent          through siltation and reduced or sporadic
entrance to the ecosystem of acidic                stream flows.
Terrestrial Flora & Fauna                          Finfish farm developments have the
Terrestrial fauna and flora may be directly        potential to provide a conduit for nitrates to
affected by clearing of vegetation and             enter groundwater supplies, leading to a
native habitats associated with the                possible degradation of groundwater.
construction and subsequent operation of
finfish aquaculture facilities.                    The construction of large water reservoirs
                                                   has the potential to change water tables,
The clearing of native terrestrial flora has       subsequently impacting on groundwater
the potential to significantly impact on the       quality.
biodiversity of a region, specifically in
relation to the removal of habitats occupied       The pumping of large volumes of water
by threatened or endangered species. The           from groundwater supplies, particularly in
removal of coastal wetlands has the                coastal areas, has the potential to reduce
potential to impact on migratory birds             water levels and promote salt water
which may be specifically protected under          intrusion into groundwater reserves.
international conventions.
The disturbance or removal of riparian             Where finfish farms are constructed near
vegetation has the potential to affect             other rural users or have had residential
stream hydrology and increase erosion of           development encroach on previously rural
stream banks.                                      areas, there is the potential for odours to
                                                   create a nuisance. Impacts are likely to
Finfish aquaculture requires the storage of        result principally from the disturbance of
artificial feeds which has the potential to        pond sediment immediately after pond
attract pest species.                              draining. The level of impacts will vary
                                                   depending on background odours, wind
The construction of open expanses of               directions, distances to sensitive places
water and the culture of finfish has the           and buffers.
potential to provide a food source for
predatory bird species.                            Noise
                                                   Where finfish farms are constructed near
                                                   other rural users or have had residential
The intake and discharge of water for a            development encroach on previously rural
finfish farm has the potential to impact on        areas, there is the potential for operational
creeks through an increase in stream flow          noise to create a nuisance. Impacts are
and subsequently the volume of water               likely to result principally from aeration
carried within an estuary or creek.                devices, pump operation and feeding

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

operations. The level of impact will depend         Public consultation carried out by the
on background noise levels, the type of              person;
noise, distances to sensitive places and            Product and process design;
buffers.                                            Waste prevention, treatment and
The use of unlabelled or inappropriately           Site Selection
labelled chemicals, lacking adequate               Site selection and evaluation must ensure
advice on correct use, dosage, withholding         that the proposed site will be capable of
periods and residue levels may result in:          operating in an economically viable and
                                                   environmentally responsible manner and in
 Reduced efficiency and safety of the             accordance with this Code of Practice.
  treatment for target species;
 Chemical residues within finfish;                In evaluating potential finfish aquaculture
 Reduced safety to consumers of food              facility sites, developers must take into
  from treated species;                            account the objectives and the likely
 Reduced safety to operators;                     environmental risks of the proposed
 Market refusal to accept products;               project.
 Production of chemical resistant strains
  of pathogens;                                    The following list although not exhaustive,
 Adverse environmental impacts to flora           identifies the major issues that must be
  and fauna.                                       considered when evaluating a potential
                                                   finfish aquaculture site.
Best Practice
                                                    Access to water;
Environmental Management
                                                    Capacity of the receiving environment
As defined in the EPA, the Best Practice             to dilute and assimilate the discharge
Environmental Management of an activity              waters;
is the management of the activity to                Environmental value of the site and the
achieve an ongoing minimisation of the               region;
activity’s environmental harm through cost-         Existing flora and fauna, both on and
effective measures assessed against the              surrounding the site;
measures currently used nationally and
                                                    Existing water users;
internationally for the activity.
                                                    Flood levels;
                                                    Neighbouring land uses;
In deciding the Best Practice
                                                    Potential impacts of the development
Environmental Management of an activity,
                                                     on environmental values and
regard must be had to the following
                                                    Proximity of Marine Parks, Fish Habitat
                                                     Areas and other relevant management
 Strategic planning by the person
  carrying out, or proposing to carry out,
  the activity;
 Administrative systems put into effect
  by the person;

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

 Regulatory requirements of the                    Water recirculation systems for
  development, site and region;                      freshwater facilities as a first option;
 Soil types, including clay content,               Use of discharge water for irrigation in
  erosion potential, and Acid Sulphate               freshwater facilities as a second option;
  Soil;                                             Pond/tank drainage may be through a
 Topography and flood levels;                       monk gate, siphon or stand pipe and
 Water quality and hydrology;                       must be completely drainable;
                                                    Pond/tank drainage structures must be
Farm Design and Planning                             designed to prevent escape of cultured
The planning stage of any finfish                    animals;
aquaculture facility development (new or            Ponds/tanks must be designed to
expanding), is crucial not only for financial        maintain appropriate freeboard levels;
success, but also as an opportunity to              Ponds/tanks must be fitted with
design the development in a way which will           appropriately designed
not cause undue influences on the                    overflow/spillway mechanisms to
environment.                                         maintain freeboards and prevent
New finfish aquaculture facilities and any          Design must minimise overland flows
expansion of existing aquaculture facilities,        entering ponds;
must be designed and planned to minimise            Discharge points must be located to
the risk of harm to the environment.                 create access to waterways that will
                                                     maximise the dispersion of discharge
Where reasonable and practicable, the                waters and minimise impacts to
planning and design of proposed finfish              hydraulics, while recognising the need
farms must incorporate the following:                to minimise disturbance and potential
                                                     impacts to aquatic ecosystems;
 Identification of features of the                 Aquaculture facility size must be limited
  aquaculture facility and its environment           according to the capacity of the
  which are important aspects of                     receiving environment to disperse and
  ecological value;                                  assimilate waste waters (if any), to
 Vegetated buffer zones and where                   ensure that unacceptable pressure is
  necessary habitat corridors;                       not placed on these systems;

 Water intake points must be located to            Aquaculture facility design must
  create access to suitable quality water,           minimise disturbance to aquatic
  while recognising the need to minimise             ecosystems;
  disturbance and potential impacts to              Where non-endemic or exotic species
  aquatic and riparian vegetation;                   are to be produced, facilities must be
 Pond wall batters must be constructed              constructed above the 1 in 100 year
  from suitable material and designed                flood level;
  with optimal batter angles to prevent
  slump and erosion;
 Consideration of prevailing wind
  direction in order to reduce wave setup
  and associated bank erosion;
 Farm layouts must minimise
  disturbance to acid sulphate soils;

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

 Areas of significant vegetation must be           Downstream conditions must be
  preserved, wherever and whenever                   checked for possible erosion and/or
  possible, provided that the economic               flooding due to concentrated flows and
  and productive efficiencies of the                 appropriate management plans
  operation are not compromised.                     undertaken where necessary;
                                                    Top soil must be placed over pond
The final design must ensure that the                walls and suitable vegetation must be
proposed facility will operate in an                 encouraged to grow on the pond walls
environmentally sustainable manner and in            and batters, or other erosion protection
accordance with other sections of this               methods must be used.
Code of Practice.                                   Encourage and manage vegetation to
                                                     control erosion.
Correct construction of the aquaculture            Acid Sulphate Soils
facility is likely to lead to increased             The excavation and disturbance of
profitability through savings in                     known acid sulphate soils must be
maintenance and unexpected construction              minimised;
failures.                                           If disturbed, acid sulphate soils must be
                                                     managed by burial, neutralisation or
Finfish aquaculture facilities must be               other forms of treatment;
constructed in such a way as to minimise            Leakage of acid leachate must be
the risk of harm to surrounding areas.               prevented, minimised or treated;
                                                    Areas where acid sulphate soils have
Where reasonable and practicable, the                been disturbed and exposed must be
following practices must be complied with            rehabilitated.
when constructing a new finfish
aquaculture facility.                              Groundwater
                                                    Ponds must be constructed from
Earthworks and Erosion Control                       material capable of retaining water and
 The area disturbed must be limited to              in a manner which will minimise
  the immediate construction area;                   seepage.
 Appropriate methods (such as
                                                   Vegetation Clearing
  perimeter bunds), must be used to
  prevent overland flow from entering the           Clearing and disposal of cleared
  construction site;                                 vegetation shall be in accordance with
 Appropriate methods must be used to                the Administering Authority
  reduce erosion of topsoil from within              requirements.
  the development site and subsequent
  siltation of waterways (such as using            Noise & Dust
  hay bales or sediment traps);                    Construction activities must be undertaken
 Stripped top soil must be stored within          such that the impact of noise and dust on
  a bunded area;                                   the environment will be minimised.
 Appropriate management plans should
  be implemented to prevent siltation of           Water Discharges
  downstream locations;                            The discharge of water from finfish
                                                   aquaculture facilities results primarily from

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

harvesting activities and minor water               Protect pond walls from
exchanges. In some techniques water                  aerator/circulation induced erosion.
exchanges may be required on a regular
basis.                                             Discharge Methods
                                                   The use of appropriate discharge
Finfish aquaculturists must manage water           strategies will assist aquaculturists
quality and discharge methods in a                 minimise the impacts from water
manner which will minimise the potential           discharges and possibly enhance
impacts to receiving environments.                 profitability through reduced maintenance
                                                   expenses. In accordance with this Code of
Water Quality                                      Practice and the objective of minimising
The quality of discharge water is primarily        environmental impacts from water
a direct reflection of pond management             discharges, aquaculturists must:
practices. Maximising water quality will
benefit the aquaculturist through increased         Utilise recirculation systems wherever
production levels and reduced operating              appropriate;
expenses. In accordance with this Code of           Use discharge water for irrigation when
Practice and the objective of minimising             ever appropriate;
environmental impacts from water                    Minimise or avoid discharge to
discharges, aquaculturists must:                     waterways at times when unacceptable
                                                     erosion of creek banks may occur;
 Maximise food conversion rates;                   Protect discharge points against
 Use foods with suitably low levels of              erosion;
  phosphorous;                                      Suitably protect pond discharge points
 Minimise the volume of dead natural                against scouring and erosion;
  feeds used;                                       Encourage vegetation to grow around
 Use artificial feeds with the least                and within farm drains and channels;
  amount of dust/fines possible;
 Monitoring the amount of feed eaten on
  a regular basis;
 Maintaining the quality of feeds by
  storing in cool dry areas;
 Ensure feeds are not stored for
  extended periods;
 Use feeds with a suitable water
 Use feed which has a high percentage
  of digestible ingredients;
 Maintain adequate aeration;
 Maintain pond biomass in consideration
         Available aeration,
         Water exchange requirements,
         Feed quality.
 Protect pond walls adequately from
  erosion caused by wave setup;

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

 Artificially protect drains and channels,        Methods for reducing suspended solids
  where necessary, against erosion                 and nutrient levels in discharge waters
  below the water line;                            may include:

Escape Prevention                                   In the case of net, trap and trawl
There are various methods available within           harvesting, allowing an appropriate time
the Queensland finfish aquaculture                   after harvesting before discharging
industry to ensure that life stages of               water, to allow suitable time for
cultured animals are not released into               particulate nutrients and suspended
natural waterways and wetlands.                      solids to settle to the pond floor.
Finfish aquaculturists must ensure that no          In the case of drain harvesting,
life stages of cultured animals (endemic or          ensuring that adequate erosion controls
non-endemic) are released into natural               are in place from the pond discharge
waterways or wetlands from a finfish                 points.
aquaculture facility.                               The use of settlement ponds or drains.

At a minimum, escape prevention                    Additionally in the case of drain harvesting,
mechanisms must include the following:             adequate screening and apparatus must
                                                   be used to reduce the risk of unintentional
 The screening of pond/tank discharge             fish escape.
  structures with an appropriately sized
  mesh;                                            Translocation
 The screening of farm discharge                  The translocation of fish within
  structures with an appropriate sized             Queensland waters has occurred to create
  mesh.                                            recreational fisheries in artificial
                                                   impoundments, by escape from
Harvesting                                         aquaculture facilities and from the release
The various harvesting methods employed            of fish into farm dams.
throughout the Queensland finfish
aquaculture industry have the potential to         The potential for finfish aquaculturists to
impact on the environment indirectly in            introduce non-endemic or exotic species
varying degrees.                                   into Natural waterways or wetlands must
                                                   be removed entirely.
Finfish aquaculturists must utilise a
harvesting method which minimises the              The potential for translocation surrounds
suspended solid and nutrient loading of            several areas of operation:
discharge waters and the potential of fish
to escape from the facility.                        escape from the facility;
                                                    intentional release of non-endemic
Harvesting practices may include:                    species by the finfish aquaculturist;

 The use of nets and traps;
 Trawl harvesting;
 Drain harvesting.

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

 contamination of consigned fish;                   The installation and maintenance of
 a purchaser (through stocking of farm               gravel filtration on pond discharge
  dams or waterways);                                 structures;
 final product recipient (retail                    Chemical treatment of water released
  customers).                                         from hatcheries.

Escape                                              Fish Stocking Programs
Translocation of species has the potential          Stocking programs present an opportunity
to occur where non-endemic species have             for impacts to the environment to occur
been approved for culture, through the              due to the introduction of non-endemic
escape of individuals with waste waters,            species primarily through three pathways:
loss of stock through flooding and overflow
of ponds/tanks or pond wall failure. There          1. The stocking of a waterway without an
are several practical techniques to avoid              appropriate approval from the
the escape of individuals from                         Administering Authority;
ponds/tanks. In order to prevent escape,            2. The inclusion of secondary species
finfish aquaculturists must, where                     (including tadpoles etc.) in a
applicable, undertake the following:                   consignment;
                                                    3. The supply of fish infected with
 Construct ponds to ensure the top of                 pathogens or parasites.
  pond walls are above the 1 in 100 year
  flood level;                                      Although it is recognised that it is not the
 Provide adequate screening of                     responsibility of the finfish aquaculturist to
  pond/tank discharge structures;                   supervise or authorise the release of fish
 Maintain adequate pond/tank freeboard             for a stocking program, it is recommended
  levels;                                           that fingerling suppliers sight a copy of the
 Install adequately screened pond/tank             appropriate stocking permit prior to
  overflow structures;                              delivery of fish to ensure that the correct
 Maintain screens and pond/tank                    species were ordered and delivered.
  discharge structures on a regular basis;
                                                    To remove the potential for secondary
 Install and maintain adequate
                                                    species to be included in shipments, fish
  secondary screens on facility discharge
                                                    suppliers must implement appropriate
  structures, where waste waters may
                                                    practices to exclude such species.
  enter public waters;
                                                    Methods may include:

Additionally, non-endemic live feeds must
not be used where there is the potential for         Suitable filtration of incoming water to
the feed species to escape and reproduce              exclude adults, juveniles, eggs and
in the environment.                                   larvae of secondary species;
                                                     Suitable design and operation of
The culture of some species in certain                discharge structures to prohibit entry of
locations may require further more                    upstream swimmers into ponds or
advanced techniques. These may include:               tanks;
                                                     Chemical treatment of ponds prior to
 The installation of fish-proof strainer             stocking to kill any secondary species;
  dams;                                              Sorting of fingerlings prior to shipment;

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

 Pre-treatment of shipping waters to kill          The provision of appropriately detailed
  secondary species;                                 pamphlets with each delivery to each
 Undertaking a random sample of the                 location and purchaser;
  delivered batch to ensure that no                 The discussion with first time buyers of
  unintended species are included in the             the responsibilities and requirements of
  consignment;                                       stocking fish in farm dams and other
 Predelivery inspection of consignments             private waters.
  by a suitably qualified person.
                                                   Genetic Resource Management
The aquaculturist must ensure that all fish        Depending on the objectives of the
supplied are free of disease or parasite           operator, genetic resource management
infections. The release of diseased stock          techniques may differ between and within
has the potential to devastate natural             facilities.
populations. Methods to minimise the risk
of disease transfer include:                       Finfish aquaculturists must, where
                                                   reasonable and practicable, seek to
 Maintaining adequate pond/hatchery               optimise genetic resources for the benefit
  water quality;                                   of the natural ecosystems and consumers.
 Maintaining adequate health
  management protocols to minimise the             Farmers seeking to sell fish for human
  potential of pathogen/parasite transfer          consumption will benefit from selective
  or introduction;                                 genetic management by maximising
 Maintaining appropriate stocking                 growth rates and flesh quality. Those
  densities;                                       selling fish for stocking programs may
 Minimising stress on fish before and             require varying genetic resources to
  during transportation;                           maintain adequate genetic diversity in
 Appropriate treatment of                         natural populations.
  pathogens/parasites prior to releasing
  fish. Treatments may be chemical or              In order to optimise genetic diversity for
  through saline or freshwater baths.              stocking programs, finfish aquaculturists
                                                   will benefit by:
Farm Dams
It is recognised that it is not the                 Documenting the spawning rates of
responsibility of the fingerling supplier            individuals;
to supervise or authorise the release of            Swapping broodstock with other
fish for the stocking of farm dams.                  operators;
Although it must be recognised that                 Replenishing broodstock with wild
fingerling suppliers may be more                     caught fish on a regular basis;
current with their knowledge of the                 Rotating broodstock;
allowable stocking practices. Suppliers             Maintaining records of broodstock and
must provide information to purchasers of            progeny distribution;
fish for farm dams, to minimise the risk of
inappropriate fish stocking. Education may

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

 Disposing of spent broodstock in a                are constructed in areas where there are
  manner appropriate for the species.               no noise sensitive locations. In some
                                                    instances, where finfish facilities are
Sediment Management                                 constructed near other rural users or have
The biological activity, aeration and               had residential development encroach on
feeding practices involved in finfish               previously rural areas, noise emissions
aquaculture result in the accumulation of           need to be managed.
sediments within tanks and ponds.
                                                    Finfish aquaculturists must minimise the
Suitable sediment management practices              impact of noise on sensitive places at
are likely to lead to increases in profitability    sensitive times.
through a reduction in the maintenance
costs associated with the removal and               In managing noise emissions from a finfish
storage of these sediments. Finfish                 farm, where that noise creates or is likely
aquaculturists must manage the                      to create a nuisance at a sensitive place at
production of sediment and must also                sensitive times, finfish farm operators must
manage the sediment once it has been                incorporate appropriate noise reduction
removed from tanks, ponds and channels.             techniques. Such techniques may include:

Sediment production must be minimised                Incorporating at the planning stage,
using appropriate operational erosion                 maximum distances between noise
control, feed management and stocking                 sources and sensitive places;
density techniques.                                  Construction of vegetated buffer zones;
                                                     Construction or use of appropriate
On removal of sediment from ponds,                    noise barriers or noise attenuators;
finfish aquaculturists must store or dispose         Alteration to the number or type of
of the sediment in a manner that will                 aeration mechanisms used.
minimise any potential environmental
impacts from erosion or leachate.                   Odours
                                                    Finfish aquaculture facility odours are
On removal from ponds, sediment must be             principally related to the draining of ponds
stored in a designated disposal area or             and disturbance of damp or wet pond
spread as top soil in appropriate crop or           sediment. The majority of finfish facilities
pasture areas. These areas must have the            are constructed in areas where there are
following characteristics:                          no odour sensitive locations. In some
                                                    instances, where finfish facilities are
 Be protected from uncontrolled                    constructed near other rural users or have
  overland flows and associated erosion;            had residential development encroach on
 Be designed or located in an area
  where the potential for leaching of
  nutrients is minimised.

Finfish aquaculture facility noise sources
are principally aeration, feeding and
pumping. The majority of finfish facilities

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

previously rural areas, odours may need to         using any chemicals if the farmer is unsure
be managed.                                        of their suitability.

Finfish aquaculturists must minimise the           Additionally fish treated with chemicals
impact of odours on sensitive places.              must be disposed of appropriately or
                                                   withheld for an appropriate time prior to
In managing finfish farm odour sources,            release or sale.
finfish aquaculturists, where reasonable
and practicable, must:                             Predator Management
                                                   A range of predators have the potential to
 Consider not disturbing pond                     impact on finfish aquaculture operations.
  sediments;                                       The appropriate management of predators
 Minimise the amount of sediment to be            is likely to increase profitability and minimise
  disturbed;                                       the potential environmental impacts to
 Allow pond sediment to dry sufficiently          predator species.
  prior to disturbance;
 Consider wind direction and strength             Predators must be managed to minimise
  and the location of sensitive places             impacts to native fauna species while
  prior to disturbing pond sediment.               protecting the economic viability of the
                                                   finfish farm.
Chemical Use
A variety of chemicals may be used in the          In order to appropriately manage predators,
Queensland finfish aquaculture industry to         finfish aquaculturists may utilise one or
treat and/or control various disease               more of the following practices, ensuring
organisms or to facilitate production. Use         that the appropriate method minimises
of chemicals necessarily involves user             impacts to non target species.
responsibility for any or all methods of safe
                                                   Water Rats
                                                    Fencing of ponds with appropriate “rat
Finfish aquaculturists must ensure that all          proof” materials;
chemicals stored and used within the                Undertaking frequent trapping exercises,
facility are stored, used and containers             under appropriate permits as issued by
disposed of, in accordance with:                     Administering Authorities;
                                                    Keeping grass levels low around ponds
 The manufacturers instructions as                  and surrounding areas.
  contained within labels and other
  supplementary documents;                         Eels and Finfish
 Their Material Safety Data Sheet;                 Screening of pond intake and discharge
 Local Authority requirements;                      structures with appropriately sized mesh;
 Administering Authority requirements;             Appropriate chemical treatment of pond
 Relevant Local, State or Federal                   water.

Aquaculturists must seek advice from
relevant government departments, before

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

                                                     Maintaining appropriate stocking
Birds                                                 densities;
 Overhead netting of ponds;                         Regular water quality maintenance;
 Installation of waterline nets;                    Maintenance of appropriate levels of
 Installation of overhead wires;                     aeration;
 Use of repellent sound emissions;                  Appropriate handling techniques;
 Use of repellent light emissions;                  Ensuring tanks are free of excess
 Culling of target species, under an                 sediment, faeces and algae.
  appropriate permit as issued by the
  Administering Authority;                          In order for pathogens and parasites to
 Increased personnel around ponds at               establish in an aquaculture facility there
  peak feeding times for birds;                     needs to be an introduction of the
 Installation of predatory images or               causative organism. Principally these
  models.                                           organisms are introduced from sources
                                                    such as:
Other appropriate methods may be used on
the basis that they promote the objectives of        Broodstock;
this Code of Practice.                               Uncontrolled human contact;
                                                     Birds and other predators;
Disease Management                                   Incoming water;
The management of fish health within a               Vector hosts.
finfish aquaculture facility will vary               LIVE FOOD
according to the type of operation
(hatchery/growout), location and species            Accordingly there is a need for finfish
cultured. In general however, disease               aquaculturists to appropriately manage
management requires a holistic approach,            these potential entry points. Management
inclusive of water quality management,              of pathogen and parasite entry points may
hygiene, feed management, aeration, bird            include:
control, larval/fingerling health and
broodstock husbandry.                                Screening broodstock for known
                                                      pathogens and parasites;
Members of the finfish aquaculture                   Maintaining broodstock in a quarantine
industry must ensure that the risk of                 area for a suitable period;
disease outbreak is minimised and that, in           Appropriate approved chemical
the event of a disease outbreak, the                  treatment of broodstock prior to entry
administering authority (QDPI&F) is                   into the general hatchery population;
informed and that the threat of disease              Installation and use of foot baths and
spread within the facility or from the facility       hand washing facilities;
is minimised.                                        Restrictions on vehicles around ponds;
                                                     Provision of quarantined footwear to
In order to manage fish health,                       visitors;
aquaculturists must minimise stress in fish          Appropriately managing bird and
through appropriate pond and hatchery                 predator populations around ponds;
management. Stress levels in fish can be
reduced through:
 Appropriate feed management;

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

 Screening or treating water prior to use          Not cause the release of diseased
  in tanks or ponds;                                 fingerlings/fish into the wild;
 Minimising or where possible                      Not sell diseased fish;
  eliminating the potential for vector hosts        Appropriately quarantine affected
  to enter the aquaculture system.                   ponds/tanks;
                                                    Collect sick specimens of affected
It is possible for translocation of pathogens        aquatic animals for laboratory
and parasites to occur through the release           examination where
of fingerlings or fish. Where aquaculturists         appropriate/requested;
intend to supply or produce fish for release        Dispose of carcasses by burial or in
into natural populations, one or more of the         accordance with the recommendations
following practices must be adopted:                 of the Administering Authority.

 Appropriate approved chemical                    Solid Wastes
  treatment of fingerlings/fish prior to           This waste stream is generally minor in its
  release;                                         nature and is limited to artificial feed
 Random inspection of fingerlings/fish            packaging, office waste paper, domestic
  prior to release;                                garbage and lunchroom wastes.
 Random pathological inspections prior
  to release of fingerlings/fish;
                                                   The Queensland finfish aquaculture
 Disease testing by DPI or other                  industry must not generate excessive solid
  diagnostic service.                              wastes.

It is not always possible to eliminate
                                                   Currently the feed used in finfish
diseases from an aquaculture facility
                                                   aquaculture is transported in paper or
                                                   plastic bags. A reduction in the level of
                                                   feed packaging will reduce the costs
Finfish aquaculturists must notify a               associated with the storage and disposal
Fisheries Research Centre or a Fisheries           of this packaging.
Extension officer or the Queensland
Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) if             Finfish farm managers must, where
they reasonably suspect or know of a               reasonable and practicable:
disease outbreak.

                                                    Liaise with feed suppliers in an attempt
In the event of a disease/parasite outbreak          to maximise the use of recyclable
or suspected outbreak the aquaculturists             packaging materials and minimise the
must ensure that the threat of disease               use of non recyclable products;
spread within the facility or to outside of         Recycle packaging material;
the facility is minimised. In order to
                                                    Recycle waste products;
appropriately manage disease outbreaks
                                                    Dispose of non-recyclable wastes in an
aquaculturists must:
                                                     appropriate manner, in accordance
                                                     with local authority requirements;
 Notify the Administering Authority
                                                    Determine sources of excess wastes
  (QDPI&F) of all disease outbreaks in
                                                     and implement remedial management
  fisheries resources;
                                                     actions as necessary.

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

At times it is necessary for finfish                 Specific procedures must be
aquaculturists to dispose of fish carcasses,          implemented until the breach is resolved
where large numbers of fish have died. In             and normal operating procedures are
such cases carcasses must be buried in                restored;
an appropriate location and within an                Monitoring of environmental parameters
appropriate time frame. In the event that             must occur should a contingency plan be
mortalities are due to disease or parasite            initiated;
infections, the procedures for disease               Consideration of notifying the
management in this Code of Practice must              Administering Authority upon
be followed.                                          implementation of contingency plan.

Environmental Contingency                           Environmental Complaints
                                                    Complaints in regard to environmental
Due to the difference in management                 issues of finfish farms may take two forms:
techniques and site variability in the finfish
aquaculture industry, the development of            1. Receipt of a formal complaint from
an industry contingency plan is not                    Administering Authorities;
possible.                                           2. Receipt of a written complaint from a
                                                       third party.
Each operator must develop in consultation
with Administering Authorities, a                   Complaints will be recognised by finfish
satisfactory, site specific environmental           aquaculturists under this Code of Practice
contingency plan.                                   on the basis that the complaint:

An environmental contingency plan must               is in a formal or written manner;
be in writing and take into account the              notes the specific incident;
following:                                           notes the specific concern or potential
                                                      impact of the alleged incident;
 There may be contamination of pond                 notes the place of the alleged incident;
  water in excess of normal management               notes the date and time of the alleged
  expectations (eg. spillage of a                     incident.
  contaminating substance or failure of
  erosion control mechanisms);                      On receipt of a complaint made in the
 The contingency plan must be initiated to         appropriate form, the aquaculturist will
  ensure that there is no or limited effect         notify the Administering Authority in writing
  on the environment;                               as soon as practicable of the complaint
 There may be an escape or the potential           and will implement an internal
  for escape of non-endemic species from            investigation. Such an investigation will
  the site;                                         include, a review of the relevant
 Management techniques must be                     environmental records, communications
  reviewed in the area specific to the              with the responsible employee(s) and any
  problem;                                          other actions the finfish farm management
                                                    deems as necessary.
 A sample Environmental Contingency
Plan and a blank plan sheet is contained in         The Administering Authority will be
Appendix A.                                         informed in writing of the outcome of the

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

investigation within thirty days of                 Code of Practice Review
completion of the investigation.
                                                    This Code of Practice must be reviewed by
                                                    the Queensland finfish aquaculture
In the event that a single incident is
                                                    industry on an annual basis. New
substantiated by the investigation, the
                                                    technology must be incorporated where
finfish farmer must undertake a review of
                                                    appropriate, based on its efficiency and
operating procedures to ensure that the
                                                    effectiveness to minimise the
incident is not repeated. If the incident
                                                    environmental impacts of finfish
identified is a continuing breach, the farm
contingency plans must be implemented.

                                                    Review is the responsibility of the industry
Environmental Records
                                                    which should conduct the review in
In order for aquaculturists to show they            consultation with Administering Authorities.
have operated in accordance with this Code          This review may require the formation of a
of Practice, it is necessary for them to            working group representing all industry
maintain adequate records in relation to            groups.
environmental performance. The
completion and maintenance of such                  Relevant Environmental
records will assist operators with historical
checks against which improvements can be            Legislation
measured and to ensure that performance             Prior to developing or operating a finfish
standards are being maintained.                     aquaculture facility it is the responsibility of
                                                    the finfish aquaculturist to ensure that all
The compilation of records must include:            necessary regulations have been satisfied.
                                                    It is not within the scope of this Code of
 Project design and planning details;              Practice to provide a detailed list of all
 Discharge and pond water quality data;            regulatory mechanisms which have the
 Approximate discharge volumes (±5%),              potential to impact on aquaculture facility
   where water is discharged into a                 developments. Individual finfish
   waterway;                                        aquaculturists must ensure that they seek
 Rainfall records;                                 appropriate legal advice in regard to their
 Correspondence with Administering                 responsibilities.
 Written complaints received by the                Relevant Environmental
  facility;                                         Legislation (Commonwealth)
 A copy of all necessary approvals;
 Sources, dates and details of fingerling,         Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act
  fish or broodstock delivery, receipt or           (1975)
  collection;                                       The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act
 Volumes and types of chemicals used in            (1975), provides for the protection, wise
  facilities.                                       use, understanding and enjoyment of the
                                                    Great Barrier Reef in perpetuity through
In accordance with this Code of Practice            the care and development of the Great
finfish aquaculturists must conduct an              Barrier Reef Marine Park. When assessing
annual review of their environmental                the impacts of proposed aquaculture
records and management systems.

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

operations, the likely impacts to the Great        Fisheries Act 1994 & Fisheries
Barrier Reef need to be assessed.                  Regulations 1995
                                                   Aquaculture licenses are required by all
World Heritage Properties Conservation
                                                   persons conducting aquaculture activities
Act (1983)
                                                   where the product is for sale or release.
The Commonwealth World Heritage                    The Fisheries Act 1994 restricts the
Properties Conservation Act (1983),                clearing or removal of marine plants and
protects registered property and areas             works within declared Fish Habitat areas.
against any activity that is “likely to            It also provides the DPI&F with the ability
damage or destroy” an area of World                to formulate management plans
Heritage Property. When assessing the
impacts of proposed aquaculture                    Local Government (Planning &
operations, the likely impacts to World            Environment) Act 1990
Heritage Areas need to be assessed.                The Local Government (Planning &
                                                   Environment) Act 1990, requires that when
International Treaties and Conventions
                                                   an application is made to a local
The Federal and Queensland                         government authority for town planning
Governments have agreed to and become              approval, consent, permission or authority
involved in, a number of environment               in relation to a planning scheme for a
based treaties and conventions, including          designated development, an
Ramsar, CAMBA and JAMBA. These                     Environmental Impact Statement must be
treaties and conventions have the                  prepared and submitted in accordance
objective of protecting various world              with the Act.
environmental values such as bird
migration and wetlands preservation.               Local Authority Town Planning
                                                   Schemes, By-laws and Regulations
Relevant Environmental                             Some Local Authorities require that
Legislation (Qld.)                                 developments within their jurisdiction seek
                                                   town planning approval or general
Environmental Protection Act 1994                  approval for specified earthworks, clearing
The Environmental Protection Act 1994              areas under Vegetation Protection Orders
requires that a person must not carry out          and building construction.
any activity that causes, or is likely to
cause, environmental harm unless the               Local Strategic Plans may guide
person takes all reasonable and                    development in a region or local
practicable measures to prevent or                 government area and may limit the
minimise the harm.                                 number or type of developments in an
Further, the Environmental Protection Act
                                                   Water Resources Act 1989
1994 provides that aquaculture may be an
Environmentally Relevant Activity; persons         The Water Resources Act 1989, requires
undertaking this activity are required to be       that permits be obtained prior to altering
licensed.                                          riverine environments or drawing from
                                                   groundwater supplies.

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Nature Conservation Act 1992
The Nature Conservation Act 1992,
requires that permits may be required for
activities within in areas prescribed in
Nature Conservation Plans, defined as
critical habitats or covered by a
Conservation Order.

Beach Protection Act
This Act provides for the protection and
management of coastal zones, in
particular the management of Erosion
Prone Areas which are defined as the area
below the Highest Astronomical Tide or 40
metres landward of Mean High Water
Springs, whichever is the greater.

Marine Parks Act 1982
The Marine Parks Act 1982, provides for
the protection of declared marine areas as
Marine Parks. Under the various Marine
Park Orders, declared marine areas are
protected from certain activities in order to
provide conservation of the area.

Coastal Protection & Management Act
This Act provides for the protection,
conservation, rehabilitation and
management of the coast and requires
that any use of the coastal resources is
undertaken in an ecologically sustainable

This Act also provides for an extension of
the effect of Section 86 of the Harbours
Act 1955, which stipulates that approval is
required prior to construction, for other
than private use, of any structure on tidal
lands or waters.

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Acid Sulphate Soils             - Soils which contain pyrite and have the potential to produce
                                acid leachate when oxidised.
Administering Authority         - Government agency responsible for the administration and
                                approval of aquaculture developments, including the
                                Department of Primary Industries, Department of
                                Environment and Department of Natural Resources.
Aeration                        - the process of adding oxygen to the pond water.
Cage Culture                    - the culture of fish species within cages placed within public
                                waters such as off shore marine environments, estuarine
                                environments or freshwater impoundments such as lakes and
CAMBA                           - China - Australia Migratory Bird Agreement
Chemical                        - A chemical, drug, hormone, antibiotic or disinfectant.
Effluent                        - Finfish farm discharge water which maybe saltwater or
Endemic fish                    - Fish species or genetic strains of a species which naturally
                                occur in a given location (opposite - non-endemic).
Environmental Authority         - A license, permit or other authority that is issued under law,
                                allowing the conduct of an Environmentally Relevant Activity.
Environmentally Relevant Activity - Any activity which has the potential to release a
                                contaminant into the receiving environment when the activity
                                is carried out. This is a specific term in the Environmental
                                Protection Act 1994 (Qld) but the concept applies equally to
                                all other States and Territories.
EPA                             - Environmental Protection Act 1994
Eutrophic                       - used to describe a body of water over-rich in nutrients so
                                that algae grow rapidly and deplete the oxygen supply.
Exotic Fish                     - Fish species which are not native to Australian waters.
Farm Discharge Point            - Point at which water is released from a finfish farm into the
                                external environment.
Fish Habitat Areas              - An area of water protected by legislation for its value as a
                                fishery habitat.
Food Conversion Rate            - Mass of feed used related to mass of finfish produced.
General Environmental Duty of Care - A persons duty not to carry out any activity that causes
                                or is likely to cause, environmental harm, unless the person
                                takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or
                                minimise the harm.
Groundwater                     - Water occurring beneath the natural ground level.
Initial Mixing Zone             - The part of the receiving water where the waste water is
                                diluted before it reaches the same density as the receiving
JAMBA                           - Japan - Australia Migratory Bird Agreement

           Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Marine Parks                       - An area of water protected by legislation for its
                                   environmental values. Includes State and Federal Marine
Noise Sensitive Location           - A place defined as a “noise sensitive place” by the
                                   Environmental Protection (Interim) Regulation 1995.
Nutrients                          - The mix of phosphorous and nitrogen contained within
                                   discharge waters.
Parasite                           - An organism which lives in association with another and at
                                   the expense of the host animal, from which it derives nutrition.
Particulate Nitrogen               - Typically nitrogen found in organic matter.
Particulate Phosphorous            - Typically phosphorous bound to inorganic suspended solids
                                   and some organic matter.
Pathogens                          - Causative organisms of disease.
Performance Indicator              - A predetermined environmental objective which is used as
                                   an indicator of the impacts or potential impacts of a finfish
Ponds                               - In ground water body which does not collect overland water
                                   flows. Generally used for the culture of aquatic animals.
Pond discharge structures          - Point and structure at which water is released from a finfish
                                   production pond into a discharge channel.
Ramsar                             - Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
                                   (Ramsar Convention).
Reasonable and Practicable         - Where consideration has been given to the following:
                                    the current state of technology in the industry
                                    the financial considerations of the action
                                    the likelihood of successful outcomes from the action
                                    the nature of the harm or potential harm
                                     the sensitivity of the receiving environment
Recirculation systems              - A system which will allow for partial or total reuse of
                                   discharge water within a single finfish aquaculture facility.
Stocking densities                 - Number of finfish stocked on a per unit of area or volume.
Suspended Solids                   - A measure of the filterable particulate matter in a water
Translocation                      - The introduction to an area, of a species or genetic strain of
                                   a species, which does not naturally occur in specific location.
World Heritage Property            - Areas as defined by the World Heritage Register.

        Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

References and Further Reading
ANZECC (1992) Queensland Water Quality Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Waters. National
            Water Quality Management Strategy.
Beveridge, M.C.M., Phillips, M.J. & Clarke, R.M. (1991) A quantitative and qualitative
            assessment of wastes from aquatic animal production. pp 506 - 553. In D.E.
            Bruce & J.R. Tomasso (Ed). Advances in Aquaculture. Volume 3. World
            Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA.
Blankenship, H.L. & Leber, K.M. (1995) A responsible approach to marine stock
            enhancement. American Fisheries Society Symposium 15, 167-175.
Boyd C.E. (1995) Effluent and Solid Waste Management in Pond Aquaculture. Presented at
            3rd Equadorian Aquaculture Conference, November 1995.
Boyd, C.E, Tanner, M.E, Madkour, M & Kasuda, K. (1994) Chemical Characteristics of Bottom
            Soils from Freshwater and Brackish Water Aquaculture Ponds. Journal of World
            Aquaculture Society 25 (4) pp 517-534.
Boyd, C.E. & Pippopimyo, S. (1994) Factors affecting respiration in dry pond bottom soils.
            Aquaculture Journal 120, pp 283-293.
Boyd, C.E. (1995) Effluent and Solid Waste Management in Pond Aquaculture. Personal
             manuscript which evaluates the results of large study on Aquaculture
            Sustainability and the Environment conducted by Network of Asian Centres for
             Aquaculture (NACA) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Boyd, C.E. (1995) Regional Review of Environmental Issues and Aquaculture Sustainablity.
             Draft manuscript prepared for NACA which reviews the country reports, S.E.
             Asia, on Aquaculture Sustainability and the Environment.
Cadwallader, P.L. & Kerby, B.M. (1995) Fish Stocking in Queensland - Getting it Right.
            Proceedings of Symposium. Townsville, Qld.
Donovan, D.J. (1997) Environmental Code of Practice for Australian Prawn Farmers.
             Australian Prawn Farmers Association, July 1997.
EPA (1994) Environmental Protection Act 1994.
Funge-Smith, S.J. & Briggs, M.R.P. (in prep) The organic composition of soil and accumulated
             sediments in intensive marine shrimp ponds in Thailand. Institute of Aquaculture,
             University of Stirling, Scotland. UK
Funge-Smith, S.J. & Briggs, M.R.P. (in prep) The origin and fate of solids and suspended
             solids in intensive marine shrimp ponds in Thailand. Institute of Aquaculture,
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END NOTE: Due to the similarities of environmental issues and management techniques
          between aquaculture industries, the Environmental Code of Practice for
            Australian Prawn Farmers has been used to provide a base format for this

     Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Appendix A - Environmental Contingency Plan

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Sample Environmental Contingency Plan

 Event                        Pond discharge screen breaks

Tasks and Actions             1. Cease discharging
                              2. Identify location of breakage
                              3. Determine potential of escape
                              4. In the event of potential escape from pond, install secondary or
                                 tertiary screen down stream to prevent escape from the facility.
                              5. Repair or replace screen
                              6. If the potential for future escape from the facility is present chemically
                                 treat holding or storage area to kill escaped fish.
                              7. If escape from the facility may have occurred notify DPI.
                              8. Undertake appropriate actions as notified by DPI

Performance Criteria          1. Tasks 1 - 5 as soon as reasonable and practicable after discovery of
                              2. Task 6 prior to further release from facility
                              3. Task 7 within 48 hours of implementation of contingency plan
                              4. Task 8 on receipt of notification from DPI
Responsible Person            1. The Manager

Reporting and                 1. Maintain a full record of events and results of inspections after
Reviewing                        contingency plan implemented

Corrective Actions            1. Ensure maintenance program and regular inspections are
                                 appropriate to prevent further breaches
                              2. Maintain sufficient back up screens or material on site for repairs and

         Industry Environmental Code of Best Practice for Freshwater Finfish Aquaculture

Environmental Contingency Plan - Blank


Tasks and Actions

Performance Criteria

Responsible Person

Reporting and

Corrective Actions


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