Tassie’s Tassal – Heidi
Broadscale Environmental Monitoring Program (BEMP)
Through the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association (TSGA), Tassal participates in a Broadscale Environmental Monitoring Program (BEMP) throughout multiple locations in south-east Tasmania.
The monitoring program has a water quality component (surface and bottom water) and a sediment component (sediment biology and chemistry). Sampling is conducted by Aquenal (Environmental Consultants) every two weeks in summer and monthly over winter.
More recently, Tassal has implemented real time sensors at various growing regions across the state, which measures key water quality parameters such as dissolved oxygen levels and temperature.
Where do we take samples from?
Tassal’s environmental consultants (Aquenal and Marine Solutions) travel to sites around Tasmania frequently, collecting water samples from the surface, bottom and five metres deep in the water column.
The teams travel to over 40 different sampling stations throughout the state, including the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Huon Estuary, Mercury Passage, Okehampton Bay, Port Arthur and Tasman Peninsula. There is also an environmental control site way down in Recherche Bay that is sampled 15 times each year.
What do we test for?
Water samples provide a vast amount of information about the health of the ecosystem. From the boat, the team can collect significant data such as water temperature, depth, salinity, pH levels and dissolved oxygen levels using a Water Quality Meter. With ever-improving technology – the quality of sampling equipment is getting better by the year. So much data can now be stored automatically to be taken back to the lab and analysed for environmental trends.
Other tests require further analysis and samples are sent to Analytical Services Tasmania to test for chlorophyll, microalgae (or phytoplankton) and nutrient concentrations. A range of different sampling apparatus are specially designed for collecting a range of different sample types, and at different depths in the water column.
Heidi studied Environmental Science in New South Wales before relocating to Tasmania in 2009 for family.