The D’Entrecasteaux and Huon waterways are shared-use waterways that host more Tasmanian recreational fishers and boaters than any other in Tasmania, and with thriving commercial operators and growing residential development it is critical that the area’s natural values are managed effectively.
Today, an innovative partnership agreement was signed between industry, government and natural resource managers. The partnership provides a framework for collaboration that will support and enhance natural diversity and improve the condition of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon Estuary.
NRM South CEO, Donald Coventry, explained that the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon Collaboration brings together many of the key stakeholders in one program, signing a partnership agreement for the first time – to consolidate and extend previous initiatives.
“NRM South works in partnership with other organisations to deliver and support key land and water management programs to ensure our local environment stays in the best possible shape,” said Mr Coventry. “With partners contributing more than $100,000, the Collaboration will undertake projects to analyse and report on the condition of the waterway, identify key management issues, and develop practical projects that will improve the condition and health of the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon.”
The region’s two salmon farmers – Huon Aquaculture and Tassal – have joined with Kingborough and Huon Valley Councils, TasWater, the Derwent Estuary Program and NRM South to support the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon Collaboration.
Christine Coughanowr, Director of the Derwent Estuary Program (DEP) said “The DEP has been supporting this initiative for several years as a Twinning Project funded through the International RiverFoundation’s National RiverPrize. On behalf of the DEP, I am delighted to sign the new agreement to renew and extend this partnership, with a greater focus on scientific reporting and on-ground actions.”
The Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Steve Wass, said “The Kingborough municipality is rich with waterways to enjoy and we are committed to working with partners to improving these natural areas for our community. This collaboration will enhance our waterways for recreational and commercial use and will ensure their sustainability for generations to come.”
The Mayor of the Huon Valley Council, Cr Peter Coad, said “Healthy waterways are integral to our identity in the Huon Valley, with a large number of residents using them every day for business and pleasure. We look forward to working with our fellow stakeholders to ensure the waterways remain healthy so they can be enjoyed by future generations as well.”
Huon Aquaculture Co-founder and Executive Director, Frances Bender said “Partnership such as the Collaboration is one of many ways that the Company contributes to the long term future of the waterway and ensuring the community has access to real, relevant information in a timely way. I’m the daughter of a local fisherman, I grew up in the Huon, raised my family here and, together with my husband, we have built a business on the Huon and we want to ensure it is here for our kids and theirs and remains part of the wonderful brand that is Tasmania.”
Linda Sams, Tassal’s Head of Sustainability said “Partnerships such as this perform an important role in making complex technical data and information about the waterways that we all cherish and value more accessible to community and other stakeholders.”
Much of the Collaboration’s activity will directly support the development of a report card on the condition of the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon waterways, focusing on water quality and sediment health, pollution types and sources, swimming and seafood safety, coastal and marine habitats, and climate. The Collaboration will also be working on litter and marine debris projects, stormwater, and projects to improve condition of natural values in the coastal, marine and estuarine environments.
The Collaboration are looking forward to growing the program and encourage other industry partners and waterway users to come on board over time.
This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, NRM South and the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon Collaboration partners – the Derwent Estuary Program, Huon Aquaculture, Huon Valley and Kingborough Councils, Tassal and TasWater.