Nick Direen

  • commented on 'A serious threat to endangered whales': lead environment group questions Tassal’s EPBC permit 2017-08-07 14:06:00 +1000
    I don’t think your (ET’s) description of Okehampton Bay as “endangered whale calving habitat” in this press release is accurate, nor the description in your Development Application submission to the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council that “Current zoning recognizes that the area is calving habitat for the EPBC-listed, endangered Southern Right Whale.”

    Environment Australia’s current South-east marine region profile which is the relevant environmental management statement relevant to the Southern Right Whale (SRW), which can be accessed at
    http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/7a110303-f9c7-44e4-b337-00cb2e4b9fbf/files/south-east-marine-region-profile.pdf
    it lists the breeding and calving grounds for SRWs on p.26. It states:

    “Southern right whales regularly aggregate for breeding and calving off Warrnambool, Victoria, with calving areas tending to be very close to the shore. The known calving and aggregation areas in the south-east region are Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Port Campbell and Portland (Victoria), and Encounter Bay (South Australia). "

    Okehampton Bay is not listed there.

    In addition the Conservation Management Plan for the Southern Right Whale, which can be accessed at
    http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/4b8c7f35-e132-401c-85be-6a34c61471dc/files/e-australis-2011-2021.pdf

    only lists Great Oyster Bay and Frederick Henry Bay (p.26) as significant congregating (but not calving areas) for the SRW.

    Given this is the basis to ET’s objections to the fish farming license in Okehampton Bay, what is the actual science- based evidence for these statements?

  • commented on New polling: Salmon governance failure bites for Hodgman 2017-08-07 05:41:18 +1000
    “New polling by Reachtel released today shows significant community concerns about outdated salmon farming practices and the influence of big salmon companies over the Hodgman Liberal Government in Tasmania.”

    Actually, on that last question, interpreting the data could mean that 65% of Tasmanians don’t really think that big salmon companies have undue influence on the government.

    Moreover, there was not a question about “outdated salmon farming practices”. The question was about “future proofing”. The answer to that question was split within the error of the survey.

    Your representation / interpretation of the results of this survey is not accurate.

  • commented on Clean up Fish Farms 2017-08-03 04:29:58 +1000
    Never heard of a Sapphire Coast in Tassie. The Australian Sapphire Coast is in NSW: http://www.sapphirecoast.com.au.
    Is ET being sponsored by the Federal Group?


  • commented on Premier bans Tassal from east coast – without banning their east coast salmon farm 2017-07-16 08:21:27 +1000
    I don’t think your (ET’s) description of Okehampton Bay as “endangered whale calving habitat” in this press release is accurate, nor the description in your Development Application submission to the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council that “Current zoning recognizes that the area is calving habitat for the EPBC-listed, endangered Southern Right Whale.”

    Environment Australia’s current South-east marine region profile which is the relevant environmental management statement relevant to the Southern Right Whale (SRW), which can be accessed at
    http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/7a110303-f9c7-44e4-b337-00cb2e4b9fbf/files/south-east-marine-region-profile.pdf
    it lists the breeding and calving grounds for SRWs on p.26. It states:
    “Southern right whales regularly aggregate for breeding and calving off Warrnambool, Victoria, with calving areas tending to be very close to the shore. The known calving and aggregation areas in the south-east region are Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Port Campbell and Portland (Victoria), and Encounter Bay (South Australia). " Okehampton Bay is not listed there.

    In addition the Conservation Management Plan for the Southern Right Whale, which can be accessed at
    http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/4b8c7f35-e132-401c-85be-6a34c61471dc/files/e-australis-2011-2021.pdf
    only lists Great Oyster Bay and Frederick Henry Bay (p.26) as significant congregating (but not calving areas) for the SRW.
    Given this is the basis to ET’s objections to the fish farming license in Okehampton Bay, what is the actual science- based evidence for these statements?

  • commented on New IMAS research pinpoints Tassal’s Okehampton risk 2017-08-07 14:28:31 +1000
    I have now read the paper and also been in dialogue with the first author. I believe you (ET) are wrongly over-extrapolating the results of Stehfest et al.‘s research in Macquarie Harbour; this is not conducive to your case about Tassal’s activities and their potential effects on the marine environment at Okehampton Bay.

    Key inaccuracies in ET’s citation of this research include:

    1) “IMAS findings raise serious concerns about animal welfare standards on Tassal’s farms”: Stehfest et al. did not investigate “animal welfare” of the livestock at Macquarie Harbour, and did not draw any firm conclusions about the welfare of fish given the density in the 2m depth band during the period of study.

    2) “it is crucial for the aquaculture industry to determine how climate change will impact on their ability to stock heavily in waters experiencing warming temperatures and falling oxygen levels”.

    There is currently no fine-scale climate or hydrodynamic study or model for Okehampton Bay that can predict the response of the water column to temperature change or oxygenation levels. It is within the bounds of known data and models that this site could cool and/or become more oxygenated due to increased storm activity as a result of climate change. Moreover, it is very misleading to compare results from Macquarie Harbour, which is a stratified, enclosed estuarine waterbody to Okehampton Bay, which is a semi-open marine, tidal system.

    If ET wants to maintain any credibility in this issue, it needs to make sure that its reading and citation of the scientific evidence is accurate and correct – not just “cherry picking” what looks like support for a view already determined in advance.

    Do you actually have any scientists on your staff???

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