Fisheries and aquaculture waste recycling
The EPA is supporting the work being done to identify potential opportunities to reduce the unsightly accumulation of plastics and other associated waste that is generated by the aquaculture and fishing sectors on Eyre Peninsula.
Tara Ingerson and Coby Mathews from the EPA aquaculture team attended a forum in Port Lincoln where waste management options for plastics was discussed and consideration for the collection and recycling of waste oyster baskets.
“This idea was initiated at the forum and recognised that this project alone could create up to four South Australian jobs and has been extended to other states including Tasmania and New South Wales,” Tara said.
Other topics discussed included:
- Recycling nets and other plastics into new products, some of which can be reused in the fishing and aquaculture industry that may also result in a new processing facility on Eyre Peninsula.
- The reuse of tuna and finfish rings as irrigation pipes, already occurring in the tuna industry.
- Processing oyster shells and barnacles that are removed from oyster baskets into new products such as poultry feed and agricultural lime fertilisers.
“These opportunities have arisen from EPA environmental surveys with the aquaculture industry by noticing the stockpiles of waste oyster baskets located in a number of land based depots,” Tara said.
This led to the EPA in conjunction with the South Australia Oyster Growers Association (SAOGA) and Regional Development Australia (RDA), to commission a feasibility study into the recycling of oyster baskets which was funded by the former Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE’s) Clever Green Eco-innovation Program.
“To further this study, the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management (NRM) provided funding through the National Landcare Program to investigate opportunities for other fisheries and aquaculture waste streams across Eyre Peninsula that resulted in the production of this report,” Tara said.
“This could be a win-win situation for all involved with less waste heading into landfill, industry adopting the waste management hierarchy and the important creation of economic opportunities for regional areas.”