Fraser Island Pearl Farm Pty Ltd, headed by Nusqe Spanton, has made an application for a Marine Park Permit to build a pearl farm in the Tin Can Bay Inlet.
The area being applied for is not currently designated for aquaculture under the Great Sandy Regional Marine Aquaculture Plan.
The proposed location is 10 Ha in size with a depth of 2-4m and is situated in the Tin Can Inlet of the Great Sandy Marine Park, near the mouth of Carlo Creek. Access to the location would be via Carlo Point boat ramp.
Mr Spanton is a Sunshine Coast local and the application says he has ‘17 years of commercial pearling experience in the Australian, Fijian and Indonesian pearling industries and has an in-depth understanding of the area and its regional dynamics.
‘We intended to establish a surface line pearl oyster farm. A maximum of 20 x 110m surface long lines each with up to 100 dropper nets per long line will be used.
‘The proposed site will serve as a resting place for our operated Akoya pearl oysters (Pinctada imbricate) as well as the juveniles, as it is the only site in the precinct that has optimal hydrodynamic characteristics of water movement flow suitable for these delicate production stages.
‘This site will allow for pre and post-operative conditioning and seeding of oysters previously grown from another aquaculture lease site within Great Sandy Marine Park. The surface lines will be anchored to the seabed and all anchoring systems are removable and are engineered to eliminate anchor drag.’
The proposed location is in the Carlo Point conservation park zone CPZ- 09 of the Great Sandy Marine Park. https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/greatsandy-marine/
As per the map below, the area is outside of the Tin Can Bay Inlet Fish Habitat. https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/managing/habitat-areas/area-plans.html
The proposal states it will restrict the reasonable use or enjoyment of this part of the marine park due to the presence of the surface floats and subsurface infrastructure
However it states, ‘In return, fishermen both recreational and commercial may benefit from increased fish stocks for the Tin Can Inlet as a result of the farm.
‘With the exception of the surface floats, all other subsurface infrastructure (ropes etc) sits (sic) approximately 1.5m under the surface. Therefore, in the event that a small vessel drifts or accidently enters the area, they won’t get tangled in the long lines damaging their boats or our infrastructure.
‘Further to this, the required navigation equipment and adequate signage will be deployed so the farming area is easily visible day and night to reduce the risk incidents. (sic)’
All interested persons, including those who believe that the proposal will restrict their reasonable use of part of the marine park may contact Nusqe Spanton via email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or may request further information from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships via e-mail to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Region, Technical Support, GBRRTechSupport@des.gld.gov.au.
Unfortunately, the date to lodge written comments on the proposal with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships was required by July 2020.