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Edition Five – 2020

CAPTIVEREARING FOR A GOOD CAUSE – Moving to the Big ‘Pool’ – New Record set by Ronja Storm – Ingleburn—Huon’s Best Kept Secret


– “We also take a look at our Ingleburn factory in Sydney and how this site is supporting our direct-to-customer strategy.” –

Introduction With the world a little different from what we recognise, we are trying to focus on the positive. This is why edition five of the Huon Story is full of good news plus updates on how we are working to proactively manage the situation in the factory and market. This edition we take a peek at a Giant Freshwater Crayfish captiverearing program taking place at one of our hatcheries. This program gives juveniles of this endangered species a head start through hand-rearing and targeted release. We are also extremely pleased to announce that we have appointed our very first Sustainability General Manager. Tony Baker, GM of People, Safety and Culture, has taken on this portfolio and is already working to bring all of the relevant projects from across the business under the one umbrella.

We know that people’s biggest focus right now is safety which is why it is a good time to put in place sustainability framework for when life returns to having some sense of normalcy.

– “Tony has come into this role with the attitude that he will listen and learn from the many people across the business who are already working in this space. We look forward to seeing a positive whole-of-business approach which will place Huon in good stead for many years to come.” – This time of year is when smolt transfers kick into gear—in fact, we just completed a mammoth transfer in May. Come with

us on a journey through the history of smolt transfers right back to when fish were dropped into tankers by forklift to the very sophisticated transfers of today. And finally we delve into how our Sales and Marketing teams have been working to find new ways to reach and support customers during the shutdown. This has included an Act Today, Improve Tomorrow campaign, Secret Pantry Business—a Facebook live cooking series with celebrity chefs, a pop-up shop at Parramatta Creek, and Huon Salmon giveaway for unemployed hospitality workers. Happy reading, The Editor — Please note that some of the images in this edition were taken prior to physical distancing requirements. The Huon Story is proudly written, designed and printed in Tasmania.


THE HUON STORY

Edition Five

– Margate Marina.

Image by Adam Jones

New Record Set by Ronja Storm

Cover Story Captive-Rearing for a Good Cause

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Sustainability and efficiently produce product Moving to the Big ‘Pool’

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Smooth Swimming for New Smolt Transfer System

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Ingleburn—Huon’s Best Kept Secret

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A Pocket Guide to Astaxanthin

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International Women’s Day Celebrations

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A Recipe for Success at The Culinary Olympics

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Parramatta Creek’s Recycling Queen

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Environmental Partnership with Huonville Scouts

Be a workforce that seeks excellence and innovation

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Mind the Production Gap

Engaging with Our Community 22

Provide the best quality of service possible

The Legislative Council Inquiry 10

Pivoting Sales and Marketing During COVID

Striving to be leaders in our industry

New Steps at Parramatta Creek 17

Sustainability General Manager 11

COVER IMAGE: The Ronja Huon discharging smolt at Flathead Bay. Image by Aaron Braithwaite

Hulk Joins the Hogan

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Engaging with Education Providers

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Around the Farm

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CONTACT: E: communications@huonaqua.com.au P: 03 6295 8111 Level 13/188 Collins St Hobart TAS 7000

huonaqua.com.au

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Sustainably and efficiently produce product

– A two-year-old juvenile crayfish –

handed down to date. They are also vulnerable to changes in habitat as a result of human activity and natural causes. Siltation of waterways, habitat loss, drought and climate change are also key threats to the species which rely on cool undisturbed water, shading from native streamside vegetation and in-stream rocks and logs free from sediment to survive.

– As the poaching risk remains very real, they will be released at an undisclosed location. This site will most likely be in an area that Giant Crayfish once inhabited. –

Captive-Rearing for a Good Cause At one of our hatcheries tucked away in rural Tasmania, an endangered species is getting a helping hand through a captive-rearing program that aims to boost their numbers in the wild. The Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish is the largest freshwater invertebrate and the largest freshwater crayfish species in the world—it is also endangered due to predation, poaching, sedimentation, and habitat loss. With the appropriate permits and permissions, several female were captured in 2018 and 2019 from which almost 60 juveniles have been collected across successive breeding periods. After they released their offspring, the females

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Huon’s captive-rearing program was established to help with re-introducing the species into areas where the species may have been extinct for generations. The program is integral to prevent predation and cannibalism of the species during its juvenile stage of growth. The Captive-rearing Program is a collaboration between Huon and Todd Walsh who is Tasmania’s most recognised expert and champion for the Giant Freshwater Crayfish.

were safely returned to where they were captured. The juveniles are being held on site where they are hand-reared. Due to their tendency for cannibalism, the year classes are kept separate which increases their survivability. Giant Crayfish can survive up to 60 years which means that they grow very slowly and during this time they are vulnerable to predation by fish and platypus. As is the case with most endangered species, humans are one of the species’ biggest threats. While fishing for the Giant Crayfish has been illegal since 1998, individuals have been prosecuted and fined for poaching. In 2018, a man was charged with poaching and eating the crayfish over a four-year period which earnt him a $8,550 fine and court fees. This fine is the largest

– A juvenile crayfish under the microscope –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five


Sustainably and efficiently produce product

Moving to the Big ‘Pool’ With the number of smolt being grown increasing yearon-year, moving them across the state to Huon’s marine sites is an exercise in logistical planning, patience and timing. Huon’s Jarrod Wells, Fish Stock Manager, is the person behind the scenes who makes sure that people, smolt, trucks, barges, and wellboats are where they need to be to make the transfers line up.

process is mixing and matching timings to best suit the fish and the logistics.” Out of all of the sites, Jarrod said that transferring fish to Strahan is the most challenging run. “For this run, we also have to consider the OHS requirements of having trucks on the road for over six hours, plus the time it takes to travel on-water and load up at the hatchery.”

As there is no wellboat at Strahan, the tankers are driven onto the Captain Bill which then takes them to the lease where the fish flow by gravity from the truck directly into the pen. “It usually takes around an hour and a half to load the fish at the hatchery and around three hours on the barge in Macquarie Harbour to get to the lease and then unload.”

– “I’ve been involved in around 15 year's worth of transfers, 14 year's managing them. At a very rough estimate, that's around 6,000 loads and more than 60 million fish with last years 850 loads the busiest yet.” said Jarrod. – Smolt transfers occur between March and October with some additional runs during the rest of the year to move salmon fry from Forest Home and Lonnavale to Whale Point and Meadowbank, and trout fry Springfield to Millybrook. “We have an overarching plan for when smolt are to be put to sea which is decided around 12 months in advance. Each smolt transfer is timed to this schedule and happens once the fish have experienced a winter then a spring to transform parr into smolt.”

– Jarrod Wells, Fish Stock Manager. Image by Ed Rivett

– Smolt trucks at Springfield.

Image by Kirsty Chalmers

The light regime happens at the hatchery and nursery that triggers smoltification which is a series of physiological changes that enables the fish to go from living in freshwater to being able to live in saltwater. “Once the fish are smolt, moving them is down to coordinating the marine and freshwater resources which is part of my role.” “We need to consider if there is an empty pen ready, is the wellboat available, and does this line up with when the transport fleet is ready to go? The rest of this

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Sustainably and efficiently produce product

– Tankers on board the Captain Bill delivering smolt to Storm Bay in 2014. Image by Ed Rivett

“We’ve had transfers start at 10pm at night at Bridport and Millybrook so this means long days and over nights for the hatchery teams and the truck drivers.” While the number of transfers has increased, the technology involved in smolt transfers has also improved dramatically.

– “In the past, we used to accompany the drivers but over time we’ve developed fleets of professional contract transporters who drive a specialised tanker fleet. With advancing technology using automation and monitoring of oxygen levels, it makes it easier for trained drivers to handle things by themselves.” – 6

Not only have the tankers improved, so has the method of loading smolt at the hatchery. “The method of loading smolt at the hatcheries varied from the first incarnation of fish pumps (that looked like a tiny green snail which had to be submerged) to dip nets. Fish were also loaded into the tankers by forklift or excavator where pumps couldn’t be used. Fish were netted into 1m3 containers and lifted over the tanker hatches and discharged—this method wasn’t the most accurate for fish count nor fish friendly way of doing things!” “Another system used to scoop the fish with a crane and wet braille from ponds. This setup meant guessing the smolt numbers in each tanker.” Historically, smolt were put into pens at our Pillings site, favoured for smolt input due to its brackish water which enabled the fish to acclimatise to salt water slowly and for its wharf access. To do this, the old pens (60-80m circumference, small by today’s standards)

were towed into the wharf where smolt were discharged into the pen by gravity straight from the tanker. “Once Pillings was closed, we attempted similar smolt discharge at Hideaway Bay with pens pulled into the current harvest container. This also included chillers and liners in our first attempt to acclimate fish to full sea water particularly in early autumn when the sea water can still be a bit warmer than optimal for smolt transfer.” Liners were used at Garden Island and Police Point and saw staff staying overnight on boats to monitor oxygen levels and to slowly pump saltwater into the liner to acclimatise the smolt. With pens getting larger and more fish going in, new ways had to be found to move and acclimatise smolt which is where tankers on barges and the wellboat came in. “The old process is a far cry from today with the wellboats and their ability to acclimatise fish to full strength seawater at a 1ppt increase every 20 mins over 6 hours!”

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five


Sustainably and efficiently produce product

– The Ronja Huon discharging smolt.

Image by Aaron Braithwaite

This has resulted in better transfer acclimation and efficiency with the Ronja Huon able to hold 50t of fish in 1 well and the Storm able to hold 100t in one hold.

– “The barges are a fall-back for our southern operations in case of unavailability of a wellboat, however, due to the volume of smolt moved at a time, the wellboat is the preferred method.” – The Whale Point underground pipeline is the next step in smolt transfer technology. “The smolt pipeline from Whale Point onto the wellboat is the ultimate method of delivering smolt to sea. Smolt transfer technology has come such a long way and has resulted in better acclimation and survivability.”

– Pillings during its smolt heyday. Image by Ed Rivett

– The old pens at Hideaway Bay –

Read more about the Whale Point transfer system on page 8 of the Huon Story.

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Sustainably and efficiently produce product

– The Ronja Storm berthed in Hospital Bay. Image by Aaron Braithwaite –

Smooth Swimming for New Smolt Transfer System This year, 1.5 million salmon have been successfully moved from our Whale Point Nursery onto the Ronja Storm via a new 950 metre under-and-over ground fish transfer pipe. David Mitchell, Huon Aquaculture’s General Manager of Freshwater Operations, said the success signals a new and better way of transferring salmon from the nursery. “The new transfer system sees the Ronja Storm pump temperature-controlled brackish water with a salinity of 10-15ppt into a supply pipe on the wharf. A pump on the wharf then picks this up and pumps it up the hill to the nursery.” “By controlling the water flow in the pipe, pump speed and crowding of the fish, we are able to move the salmon steadily in water all the way to the wellboat.” To safeguard the nursery’s biosecurity, water from the wellboat never enters the nursery facility. “The transfer pipe worked the way that we hoped it would! Moving our salmon this way means less handling which has resulted in improved fish health and

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performance following the transition from freshwater to saltwater,” said David.

– Importantly, this transfer system is quiet and unobtrusive to neighbours. So far this year, this new process has saved 264 truck movements, and approximately 478 over the whole 2020 season. –

Aquaculture and Engineering Services, George Eaves Welding, Matt Baker from ASC Engineering and of course our own freshwater and marine operations teams for their work on this project,” finished David.

– Pipe laying.

Images thanks to Jim Mclaren of Mitchell’s Plastic Welding

“Only the oxygen injection manifolds are visible from above ground along the underground section with the final length running out along the refurbished APM wharf.” Salmon were previously pumped onto tankers and driven the short distance to the Port Huon wharf for loading onto the wellboat. “We’ve consistently seen great work from our local contractors at Whale Point and this new transfer system is no exception.” “Thank you to Gandy & Roberts, BC Electrical, Cromarty, Billund, Mitchell’s Plastic Welding, Haugland, Step

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five


Sustainably and efficiently produce product

Ingleburn–Huon’s Best-Kept Secret In Sydney’s outer suburbs you’ll find one of Huon’s best-kept secrets; our Ingleburn processing facility. Ingleburn is the grownup, more sophisticated replacement to our old Botany Bay facility and creates value-added, MAP (modified atmosphere packaging) and frozen lines for major retailers. Gee Tung Tran, Ingleburn Production Manager, oversees everything at the site from production to dispatch, and is occasionally a tour guide for customers. “I’d like to take a moment to thank my whole team especially Jana and Thi for all of their effort and hard work.” “Before the Botany Bay site was bought by Huon, it was a factory for Pyrmontt Seafood who I worked with for seven years. Myself and a small handful of others stayed on when Huon took over which meant a new way of doing things and changing some engrained habits,” said Gee.

– “I remember my first week at Botany when I was operating a forklift in my apron that was covered in fish with my gumboots and hairnet on. I could see Julie Gillies’ face in the office saying ‘what have we gotten ourselves into?’,” said Gee with a chuckle. –

– Team Ingleburn – It is a challenging role but Julie is a fantastic manager. I get such great support from her and I couldn’t think of anyone who I would rather report to,” said Gee.

– “We’ve had a big increase in employees in a short amount of time. I’m really pleased to see them all grow with the company and we are a very tight-knit team who work really well together.” – Ingleburn has three production rooms which is a sizable increase on the old facility. “When I saw the plans I remember thinking ‘how will we use all of that space?’, but now I’m starting to think that we need even more room!”

“Ingleburn has a great freezer and chiller and a dedicated space to store packaging. When we have packaging overflow our neighbours are happy to lend us some storage space. It is a shared site so we’re glad to have a good relationship with everyone.” Due to their proximity to Huon’s major customers, Ingleburn has also seen many visitors. “I get really good feedback from our visitors. Every single visitor has had nothing but positive things to say after seeing our site.” “The site was designed in a way that enables site visits which is a useful educational and sales tool.” “Our proximity to the major markets on the eastern seaboard allows us to move a lot of product through our doors which is beneficial for Huon to reach a wide and varied customer base,” finished Gee.

– Inside Ingleburn –

Gee said that this was a typical way that small Sydney operations ran. “I had never worked for a corporate company before so there was an adjustment period getting trained and used to the new standards.” The move from Botany to Ingleburn has resulted in increasing the workforce from around 25 people to closer to 70 employees.

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Sustainably and efficiently produce product

– Hideaway Bay.

Image by Ali Stebbing

The Legislative Council Inquiry In late 2019, the Tasmanian Legislative Council announced that they would hold a public inquiry into how Tasmanian salmon farming is operating and its regulation. To do this, a special committee was formed comprising of Hon Kerry Finch MLC, Hon Ruth Forrest MLC, Hon Mike Gaffney MLC, Hon Rob Valentine MLC, and Hon Meg Webb MLC (Inquiry Chair). The inquiry received over 200 written submissions and dozens of in-person oral submissions including from Huon Aquaculture, Petuna, the Tasmanian Salmonid Grower’s Association and CSIRO.

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Pene Snashall, Huon’s Communications and Community Engagement Manger, said that Huon’s written and oral submissions focused on myth-busting and correcting misinformation that was presented as fact by other persons and groups making submissions.

– “We are proud to champion everything that Huon and its clever team does on a day-to-day basis and our 200 page submission was evidence of the cleverness, skill and pride demonstrated by each of our 750+ staff.” –

“We felt that it was important to not only share the positive things that Huon is doing, but to also lay bare the facts to counter misinformation and half-truths that were presented to the Committee,” said Pene. The Committee heard oral submissions into April and also released an interim report which is publicaly-available via the Tasmanian Parliament website. “The Committee have a standing invitation to our sites once the restrictions are eased. We look forward to hosting them so they can see our operations firsthand and gain a more thorough understanding of everything that we do.” The Committee is expected to hand down their final report and recommendations during the latter half of 2020.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five


Striving to be leaders within our industry

Sustainability General Manager From an early age Tony Baker, Huon’s newly-appointed General Manager of Sustainability, has been interested in the impacts that farming can have on the environment. “I can trace my interest in sustainability back to my childhood on the family farm. This formative experience provided a real awareness about how looking after your land was not only good for the environment but was just plain good business,” said Tony. This thread has continued with Tony throughout his career and personal life. “I’ve been interested in sustainability for a long time so while I don’t have any formal qualifications in the area, I’ve been involved in some significant projects in this space during my pre-Huon career at Southern Water, Houston’s Farm and whilst heading up the University of Tasmania’s Consulting & Contract Research Company.” These research projects included the Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability, Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments, and Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection.

Tony doesn’t pretend to know everything about sustainability—he’s taken on this new portfolio with the attitude that he will listen and learn from the many knowledgeable and talented people across Huon who are already doing great work in this area.

– “There’s already a lot of really important work being undertaken across the business and my aim is to consolidate all of these projects under the one umbrella and to create a whole-of-company Sustainability Strategy.” –

“The business challenges created by COVID–19 has actually been helpful in this process. It has required us to fast-track the analysis of our activity in this space and really question are we investing in the right areas to get the best outcome for the environment and the business.” Out of this consolidation we will have a clear plan and a set of activities and associated goals. “The underlying message is that sustainability is no different to safety. It should be part of how we go about our day. You don’t want to hurt yourself and others so the same goes for the environment— it’s just good business to do these things well. “Taking on this portfolio is an exciting challenge,” finished Tony.

– Tony Baker. Huon’s new Sustainability GM –

– “Anyone that knows me knows that I like the outdoors. I like to engage with the natural world in my personal life through activities such as mountain biking.” –

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Striving to be leaders within our industry

– Ronja Storm –

New Record Set by Ronja Storm She stormed into our lives in late February and has already made her mark on our farming operations! On just her third bathing cycle, our new wellboat, the Ronja Storm, successfully bathed an entire 240m pen of salmon in one go, equating to 729 tonnes of live fish bathed together. We’ve been told the previous record was 680 tonnes so we’re pretty chuffed to challenge this record! Since then, the Ronja Storm has again set a new record of 769 tonnes and we expect this to be again broken by the time this magazine is published.

smolt and generally helping us to deliver quality fish health and welfare practices, while managing our environment and keeping our staff safe. A huge congrats to the many Marine Operations crews who had to (quickly) learn how to accommodate the Ronja Storm’s into day-to-day operations. A shout out also to the Norwegian Solvtrans crew – some of whom spent longer in Australia than they were expecting due to COVID, while others were caught in quarantine after arriving in Australia. Without these highly specialised leadership roles we cannot operate our wellboats, so their support is appreciated.

The Ronja Storm has been quietly travelling from Storm Bay down to our leases in the Huon and Channel, bathing fish, transferring

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THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five


Striving to be leaders within our industry

– The mentees with Huon’s Chali Meerwald from the Community Relations Team –

International Women’s Day Celebrations To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, a small group of female Huon staff visited a vibrant group of young women studying and training at the Huon Valley Trade Training Centre. To kickstart the morning, the staff shared their professional backgrounds and the diverse career pathways they took to be where they are today. Over a spot of morning tea, the staff got to know the students and hear about what training/studies they were undertaking and what visions they saw for their futures. While it was a great opportunity for the staff to pass on advice from their experiences, they were truly impressed to learn that many of the students were learning trades and studying fields that are often seen as maledominated industries. Huon’s Education Advisor Ali Stebbing said their visit to the Trade Training Centre was

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five

to showcase the diverse range of careers available in the Aquaculture industry.

– “We want the young women of the Huon Valley to pursue the things they enjoy, knowing there are roles available to them locally in their chosen field,” Ali said.

an enabled world. Through this ethos we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements. After witnessing the diverse fields, the young women of the Huon Valley are looking to enter, we can proudly say that the future looks bright for women’s equality in the workplace.

– “Whatever type of education the young women want to pursue, vocational or tertiary, there are roles available.” “As our Huon ladies discussed, a career path these days is not linear and there are plenty of opportunities to travel, learn and experience new things.” The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 was #EachforEqual. This theme explores the idea that an equal world is

– Work Health and Safety’s Daniela Hidaka –

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Striving to be leaders within our industry

Parramatta Creek’s Recycling Queen When it comes to reusing and recycling at Huon, no one is more dedicated than Parramatta Creek’s Marion ‘Maz’ Robertson. While Maz has always had a knack for reusing and recycling, working for Huon as a Canteen and Facilities Supervisor has really allowed her team to make a difference in their workplace and community. “I always have been passionate about reusing and recycling. Even at home—I can’t stand waste. I believe that if you can reuse it, reuse it, and if you can recycle it, recycle it,” Maz said.

“Any left-over food scraps from the canteen are used for dog scraps. Many of our staff [including me] have dogs, so it’s first in best dressed for those!”

– The food scrap station –

When asked about how we could encourage more people to think like her, Maz said, “it’s all about education – people think they can’t make a difference and what they do doesn’t matter, but it does – if everyone has that attitude then nothing will change.” To finish, Maz offered some of her wisdom, “it just seems like common sense to me – everything that goes in the ground is going to come back out.” The PMC kitchen has been temporarily closed during COVID.

There’s no doubt that Maz and the kitchen staff at Parramatta Creek are the drivingforce behind the reuse and recycling initiatives at the facility, but she said everyone at the site does their bit to make it work. “We have recycling, food scrap and general waste bins in the canteen for the staff to use after they have finished their meals,” Maz said. “We also recycle all our bottle-top lids, which are then sent onto an organisation that reuses them to make prosthetic limbs.” Reusing food scraps has also been beneficial for the staff (and their fury friends!) at Parramatta Creek. “We separate all our vegetable peels in the kitchen for staff to feed their animals – at the moment we have someone who takes the peels for their chooks, someone else for their goats, and another takes them for her baby piglet,” Maz said. Maz said they even put their cooked and uncooked eggshells to good use. “We go through dozens of eggs a day, so it was only fitting to find a use for them. We have someone who collects the cooked eggshells to make shell grit for their chooks [to harden their eggs]. We also encourage people to take the raw eggshells, as they make a great compost.”

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– Arial, Chantal and Jean using the recycling station –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five


Provide best quality of service possible

Environmental Partnership with Huonville Scouts Over the past three years, the enthusiastic group at Huonville Scouts have been helping to undertake environmental maintenance at Huon’s freshwater hatchery, Forest Home. Huon’s Freshwater Environment Manager, Adam Chapman, said the scouts have been planting trees and establishing riparian zones along creeks at the Huon River around the property to earn their Scout Environmental Badge. Adam said that before Forest Home became a state-of-the-art freshwater hatchery it was an old orchard facility.

– “The environmental work undertaken by the Huonville Scouts has earned them their Environmental Badges, as well as help Forest Home's farmland keep its NASAA Organic Certification – a certification that was proudly achieved in late 2019,” said Adam. – “In a corner of the property was an old disused and run down glass house and grow room, utilised in the past for growing fruit trees.”

“The Huonville Scouts’ leader, Dale Foggo, approached Huon with a plan has seen the scouts clean up and restore these old nursery facilities. “The scouts will use the space to grow trees from seed and then sell these trees to both Huon and to other businesses and residents in the Huon Valley.” Huon Aquaculture are supporting the scouts with materials required to restore the nursery – like plastic covers, wood, water and power supply but the scouts will be responsible for growing the native trees. “One of the great advantages is that the scouts can collect seed from local trees already established on Forest Home and grow trees endemic to the Huon Valley. We can use these to restore and revegetate land at Forest Home and Whale Point,” finished Adam.

– The nursery; before and after –

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Provide the best quality of service possible

helping people out who are doing it tough at the moment—kindness matters.” “Each and every single one of our customers in important to us regardless of where they are located and the volumes that they move. We are in constant communication with our customer base and are doing everything we can to work with them in this challenging time.” “We don’t know what things will look like on the other side but it is important to recognise that there will be an ‘other side’ and we can each play a part in shaping the future,” finished Callan.

Pivoting Sales and Marketing During Covid In the wake of changed consumer behaviour during COVID-19, our Sales and Marketing team continue to work around-the-clock to support our valued customers. This has been achieved through a variety of measures including the ‘Act Now, Improve Tomorrow – Shop Local’ campaign, donating Huon Salmon to out-of-work hospitality workers, and inspiring home cooks through the Secret Pantry Business Facebook live series. Callan Paske, Huon Aquaculture’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing, said the Shop Local campaign made it easier for customers to continue to support local businesses.

“We all want our communities and the economy to bounce back as quickly as possible and central to this is keeping small businesses, like the local fishmonger, afloat. This is why we are also donating Huon Salmon to some of our wholesalers, including Clamms Seafood, who are running initiatives to give unemployed hospitality workers a free kilo of mixed seafood,” said Callan. In just one day, Clamms Seafood gave away 650 boxes of seafood and 550 serves of paella. “The response to the Clamms Seafood giveaway was phenomenal. It is good to know that we played a small part in

With more people cooking and eating at home, Huon’s Secret Pantry Business is filling the dining-out gap by inspiring and empowering home cooks to use Huon Salmon. Secret Pantry Business is a twice-weekly Facebook live cooking series featuring celebrity Chefs and is hosted by Huon’s Assistant Brand Manager, Anita Wheeler. “It has certainly been interesting speaking with chefs around Australia. Hosting the first few was very daunting, but then it just became a rhythm, a bit like riding a bike. The comments coming through on the videos have been great. People are loving the recipes, and the tips and tricks the chefs have been giving,” said Anita. The chefs in the series have been hit hard either directly by restaurant closures, or through reduced take-away only trade. “We have tried to select chefs based on their location so that each area of Australia gets some airtime. We all want to see our friends in hospitality bounce back because we are all in this together,” finished Anita.

“Supporting local has always been important to Huon and with the current uncertainty, where people put their money has the potential to make a greater impact,” said Callan. “The campaign includes a real-time store locator so consumers can see who is still open, delivering or selling takeaway meals of Huon Salmon or Huon Ocean Trout.” Over 270 businesses from across Australia are listed on the store locator.

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– The Clamms Seafood giveaway. Image thanks to Clamms Seafood –

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five


Provide the best quality of service possible

– The new screens in action –

New Steps at Parramatta Creek To ensure a high standard of employee health and safety, inhouse designed Perspex screens have been rolled out at our Parramatta Creek processing facility. The screens were designed by Chris Newett, Engineering Manager at Parramatta Creek and Julie Gillies, National Processing Manager. “We’ve put very strict measures in place at the factory to safeguard employee safety. These steps include temperature checking each employee upon arrival, having a single point of entry, floor markings and now the Perspex screens.”

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five

– Julie Gillies said that the screens add an extra layer to the already extensive processes in place to safeguard employee safety during the current pandemic. – The screens were manufactured locally by Clark Metal Fabrication and installed in mid-April. Clark Metal Fabrication have been a valuable contractor to Huon for many years.

“We are very impressed with how quickly and professionally Clark Metal Fabrication turned around the screens. It was a matter of days from prototype to full installation which is a credit to their team.” Huon supports local contractors and businesses wherever possible. “It has always been important to us support local and now even more so. We are fortunate enough to be an essential industry so the choices we make and who we buy from is important to the company.” “While it is early days, we are only seeing positives from the screens and we will continue to do everything that we can possibly do to keep our employees safe,” finished Julie.

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Provide the best quality of service possible

– The newly-launched Hulk –

Hulk Joins the Hogan The launch of our second locally-built 600 tonne feed barges, the Hulk, marks the completion of our $45M investment in sustainable and safer fish feeding systems. The feed barge was launched in May 2020 at Crisp Bros. & Haywards where it was built from the ground up. Its sister barge, the Hogan, was christened and launched in December 2018.

Huon is proud to support local businesses in the creation of new technologies and infrastructure, which is why all seven feed barges have been built in Tasmania by the terrific team at Tasmanian-based company Crisp Bros. & Haywards (Margate shipyard). In typical Huon style, it was a mammoth team effort to get to this point with many people across our Marine Operations, Projects, Engineering and ICT teams involved, as well as many local contractors; hats off to you all.

– The Hulk before its launch –

– The newly-launched Hulk. –

Our locally designed and built feed barges are at the centre of our feeding system—the barges are moored out at sea at each farming lease but are remotely controlled from our Hobart office. They contain high-tech feed systems such as cutting-edge video pellet-recognition software to determine when the fish are hungry and when they are full, which means less wastage and a reduced environmental impact. Huon’s first feed barge, aptly named the ‘Huon’, was launched in June 2014 and represented the first of five 320 tonne feed barges to be integrated into our farming operations.

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– The finishing touched being added. –

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A Pocket Guide to Astaxanthin All salmon, whether they are wild or farmed, get their signature flesh colour from their diet. This is made possible through the presence of a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is essential building block for salmon – they need it for healthy muscle growth, it also stimulates the immune system and improves fertility and growth. Salmon cannot make their own astaxanthin and in the wild they obtain it by eating krill (just like flamingos do). As our salmon are farmed, they don’t have the opportunity to forage for food meaning we must add astaxanthin to their diet. It would be against our farming principles if we farmed salmon without adding astaxanthin, as its absence would negatively impact on fish health and wellbeing. In short, astaxanthin is a critical part of a salmon’s diet both in the wild and the farm.

– Did you know that astaxanthin is also highly sought after and freely available at health food shops as a high potency human antioxidant? –

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Provide the best quality of service possible

A Recipe for Success at The Culinary Olympics The Australian National Youth Team have taken out gold at this year’s prestigious Culinary Olympics held in Stuttgart, Germany. The Culinary Olympics is exactly what it sounds like: the best-of-the-best go head-to-head to showcase their skills in different disciplines, and are faced with a series of challenges at which they must excel at every single step. Just like athletes, the teams train intensively for years before the event ensuring that they are in perfect harmony with each other, and importantly, in harmony with their ingredients. We think that their dish of cured and poached Huon Salmon, salmon and roe bonbon, crab chawanmushi, oyster cream, native coastal greens, baby onion, and Lemon Myrtle looks too good to eat. Having said that, we’d definitely rise to the challenge!

– With such a highly trained team, it is only natural to expect that they work with the very best salmon, Huon Salmon. –

Congratulations to the team for their well-deserved success. Huon Salmon proudly sponsored Australia’s National Youth Team.

– A gold-worthy dish.

Photo by Team Captain, Billy Fox

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Mind The Production Gap With the support of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), Huon is currently undertaking a trial to control the spawning of out-ofseason salmon through the manipulation of environmental cues such as lighting and water temperature. This trial is being undertaken across several recirculated freshwater sites and involves different cohorts of selected broodstock have their spawning date advanced or delayed to enable fresh eggs and milt (sperm) to be collected across a longer period of the year. The goal is to ultimately supply the market with the preferred size of fish all year round. David Mitchell, Huon Aquaculture’s General Manager of Freshwater Operations, said advanced and delayed broodstock, coupled with Huon’s Whale Point Nursery, will enable Huon to fill a production gap.

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five

“Filling this seasonal gap with the right size fish involves putting salmon to sea at different sizes across the year to translate to a continuous supply of harvest-size fish,” said David.

– “We achieve delayed or advanced spawning by giving the broodstock either offset longer summers or winters and adjusting day length, day light and temperature accordingly to match the desired season.” – “The periods during which we do this do not coincide with Tasmania’s ambient summer or winter profile and it is this uncoupled timing that gives us longer reproductive period, as the timing of spawning is triggered by seasonal cues.”

When the broodstock are ready to reproduce, the eggs are hand-milked and mixed with selected milt to produce fertilised eggs. “So far the project has seen the first advanced stock put to sea from Whale Point in March 2020 with additional fish in May and June. The delayed broodstock (fish that have had a longer winter), are on track to spawn in August (normal spawning time is in May).” “It is still early days in terms of evaluating the success of the project but we are already seeing good hatch and survival rates across the cohorts which is a good start,” finished David. Results from the trial will develop knowledge that informs future investment in recirculated sites for both broodstock and large smolt. 2018-113 Controlled advance of out of season Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) brood stock spawning through manipulation of environmental cues using RAS technology (Huon Aquaculture Company) is supported by funding from the FRDC on behalf of the Australian Government.

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Engaging with our Community – Spreyton Joey Scouts at Parramatta Creek –

A Growing Partnership While the ground at Parramatta Creek may be dry, a wonderful partnership with the Spreyton Joey Scouts is growing. Founded in 2010, the Spreyton Joey Scouts troop are terrific ambassadors for the scouting movement. Their all-inclusive troop enables kids from Prep to 12-yearolds to earn a range of badges and build connections with their community.

Huon recently contracted the Spreyton Joey Scouts to undertake some site preparation prior to the construction of a new dam at our Parramatta Creek processing facility. In return for removing tree guards and stakes of around 1,000 trees, the troop earnt their Landcare Badge.

– Joey Scouts with a pile of old tree guards –

After the new dam has been constructed, we will re-engage the troop to plant more trees on the site. As with our long-term association with the Huonville Scouts at Forest Home, we have no doubt the Spreyton Scouts will become helpful citizen horticulturalists at our Parramatta Creek site.

A Taste of the Huon Dishes Up a Serving of the Finer Things – Huon’s Holly Perry, Anita Wheeler and Luke Cavanagh –

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Over the long weekend in March, patrons and punters alike came together at the Ranelagh showgrounds for the annual event, A Taste of the Huon. This year, Huon was a proud major sponsor of the Huon Valley festival that attracted thousands of people from all over Tasmania and beyond.

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With two Huon teams representing the company, you didn’t have to look far to see the blue and gold colours of our logo. Our Corporate Communications team had a marquee set up, handing out giveaways, running a competition and answering questions about all things Huon and salmon farming, while the Sales and Marketing team were serving up delicious dishes featuring our premium hot and cold smoked salmon products. Looking back on the event, Huon’s Assistant Brand Manager, Anita Wheeler, said although it was a little chilly, the Taste was a great event. “Despite cool weather, there were still many people coming out to enjoy the offerings of the Huon,” Anita said. “The feature of the ABBA revival band brought a boogieing atmosphere to the festival. You could even hear the singing of "Dancing Queen" hours after they left the stage!” “It was great for Huon Aquaculture to once again have a presence to engage with the community and showcase our beautiful products. A trend in conversation over the weekend was "we love your product”.

A Nautical Send-Off for Tassie Festivals in 2020 On Easter Sunday, 15 March 2020, locals and lovers of all things nautical met down at Kent Beach on the Dover Foreshore for the hallmark community event, Seafest 2020. With COVID-19 mass-gathering restrictions commencing in Tasmania the following day, the family-friendly festival was the last outing for many Tasmanians. Huon’s Education Relations Advisor, Ali Stebbing, said the organisers estimated 1,500–2,000 attended the festival, despite looming coronavirus concerns. “Despite the ban on mass gatherings starting the next day, numbers were good, with many people attending the festival to enjoy the sites, browse the craft stalls and taste the delicious food and drinks on offer,” Ali said. “As well as a great family outing, Seafest is a great way to enjoy our local industries and sample local produce.” Huon was proud to support Seafest 2020 by donating Huon Salmon products, lending event infrastructure and facilitating a primary school art competition. As the mastermind behind the art competition, Ali was thrilled with the engagement of the participating schools, which included the Dover District School, the Geeveston Primary School and Sacred Heart Catholic School. “Feedback from the art show was really positive – the Seafest Committee (who judged the competition) said it was the biggest success of all the kid’s activities on offer and will definitely be included in years to come,” Ali said. “There were four categories (Ocean and Environment, Sea Creatures, Nautical and Recycled Art) across three primary school age groups for the art competition. The judges were really impressed with the creativity and calibre of the artwork.” “All the winners received sustainability-themed goodie bags from Huon and a certificate |with their name listing the category that they won.” Other attractions on the day included a broadcast from Huon FM, Social Circus, jumping castles, face painting, fishers selling fresh from their boats, over 30 food and drink vendors, over 20 arts and crafts stalls and a spinning wheel of fortune offering the chance to win fresh seafood (including crayfish!). All going to plan, Seafest is set to return on the same date in 2021.

– The 2020 Seafest crowd –

– A Huon Salmon picnic box –

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Engaging with Education Providers – Adam’s recycled wellboat with gumnut fish –

During this unprecedented time, we’ve paused our faceto-face engagement with education providers, including work placements and site visits, and have diverted our efforts into developing a range of online activities for schoolaged kids and their parents. Alison Stebbing, Huon’s Education Relations Adviser, said travel restrictions have freed up some time to allow her to work on online and educational resources. “My team had the development of educational resources planned for a while but we didn’t have the time to devote to it until now,” said Ali. “We know that parents are seeking out extra resources to keep their kids busy so

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I’ve worked to make sure that the activities strike the right balance between being both educational and fun.” Huon has also recently partnered with the Children’s University to become a learning destination. “I’m excited by our relationship with the Children’s University. Most of our sites are in regional areas so this is a great opportunity to engage with them and offer them the same access to resources as city-kids have.” “The great thing about Children’s University is that it gives parents a way to engage in their children’s learning outside the formal school curriculum. The activities are designed in a way that parents and guardians can participate and get handson,” said Ali. More activities will be made available online during the school term.

Activity Sheets To keep little minds occupied and challenged, we have developed a range of online activity sheets. These activities are suitable for an assortment of age-groups and range from make-your-own sea-themed nature mobile and recycling challenge, to decoding signal flags and researching some of the lesser-known aquaculture terms such as ‘benthos’ and ‘flocculation’. The activity sheets were launched on Huon Aquaculture’s Facebook page and were extremely well received by parents—many of whom are homeschooling for the first time. “This is the best news! My hubby works for you and I was supposed to be coming to site on a Uni field trip in a couple weeks. Our kids go to school locally and will love working through your activities with some

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five


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– A completed activity by Karter Muldrock. Image thanks to his Dad

extra info from daddy I'm sure,” said Del via Facebook. “We are loving the challenges! The kids had a wonderful morning creating boats,” said Zilla via Facebook. The international online magazine Fish Farming Expert profiled the resources and said that out of all of the salmon farms that they came across, our engagement with local communities was the most integrated. To find the activities, search for ‘Education’ on www.huonaqua.com.au/

Children’s University Online Learning Destination Huon is officially a Children’s University Online Learning Destination. This means that Children’s University students can complete our online challenges to earn stamps in their Passport to Learning. The Children’s University concept is relatively simple: it offers superior educational experiences for children aged between 7 and 14 years and volunteering

THE HUON STORY | Huon Aquaculture | Edition Five

opportunities for 15–18 year olds outside of school and recognises their achievements through the award of formal certificates and graduations. The model leverages local educational and learning activity providers and has a strong emphasis on experience as a significant learning tool, acknowledging the value of the range of different learning experiences and environments in which children engage. All learning activities must have a link in some way to a university course e.g. Huon Aquaculture = veterinary science, aquaculture, marine biology, science, IT, Marketing, Accounting etc. Visit our website to find our challenges or visit the Children’s University’s website to get involved.

The PUC takes a leading role in helping all young Tasmanians flourish through the transformative power of leaning. Part of their work involves running fun and interactive educational seminars for kids. Ali Stebbing recently had the pleasure of running a Zoom seminar that focused on growing healthy and happy salmon. The seminar delved into the cutting-edge farming technology that Huon uses, and in some cases, invents and implements. The audience also had the opportunity to quiz Ali on her knowledge and complete an activity where they got to design the next big fish farming innovation. Visit the PUC website to find out more about their upcoming events www.utas.edu.au/ underwood-centre

The Underwood Centre – Alive for Kids Launched in February 2015, the Peter Underwood Centre is a partnership between the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government in association with the Office of the Governor of Tasmania.

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Around the Farm

Above: The Ronja Storm by Harry Watson Left: A stunning sunrise by Stuart Holliday

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To have your image included in the next edition’s Around The Farm email: communications@huonaqua.com.au

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Storm Bay 2 by Adam Jones

Storm Bay after the recent storm by Rowan Mcguire

Storm Bay sunrise by Joel Abbott

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Profile for Huon Aquaculture

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