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  1. Profile
    1. Basic legislation
    2. Legal definition
    3. Guidelines and codes of conduct
    4. International arrangements
  2. Planning
    1. Authorization system
    2. Access to land and water
    3. EIA
  3. Operation
    1. Water and wastewater
    2. Fish movement
    3. Disease control
    4. Drugs
    5. Feed
  4. Food safety
    1. Miscellaneous
      1. References
        1. Legislation
        2. Related resources
      2. Related links
        Profile
        Basic legislation
        Under the Australian Constitution, state and territory governments have primary responsibility for management of land and waters within a state or territory, and management of inland and coastal waters out to the three nautical mile limit. The Australian Government has the responsibility for management of marine waters between the three and two hundred nautical mile limits.

        All states or territories have fisheries or aquaculture legislation that regulates aquaculture production. In New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, aquaculture is regulated under general fisheries legislation covering commercial and recreational fishing, and aquaculture. Tasmania has two pieces of legislation relating to marine and inland fisheries respectively. Separate legislation provides for marine aquaculture leases in Victoria (Land Act 1958), Tasmania (Marine Farming Planning Act 1995), and potentially in Queensland (Land Act 1994). In contrast, South Australia has a single dedicated Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005), while Western Australia has dedicated legislation for pearling (Pearling Act 1990).

        Aquaculture production may also be subject to Commonwealth legislation, such as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act (1975) (the latter affects Queensland only). Other Commonwealth legislation that may be relevant includes the Native Title Act (1993) that may affect the use of public land and waters. Commonwealth quarantine legislation can affect aquaculture operators' access to new species, broodstock and feed.

        South Australia is the largest producer of aquaculture products in Australia, accounting for 38 percent of the gross value of production. In the following, only the legislation of this state will be dealt with. Commonwealth legislation will be mentioned when it is relevant.
        Legal definition
        According to the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005), aquaculture means "farming of aquatic organisms for the purposes of trade or business or research, but does not include an activity declared by regulation not to be aquaculture."

        The term "farming of aquatic organisms" means "an organised rearing process involving propagation or regular stocking or feeding of the organisms or protection of the organisms from predators or other similar intervention in the organisms' natural life cycles".

        "Aquatic organism" means, according to the Act, "an aquatic organism of any species, and includes the reproductive products and body parts of an aquatic organism".
        Guidelines and codes of conduct
        The Australian Aquaculture Code of Conduct, initiated by the Australian Aquaculture Forum, has been developed with assistance from a number of groups, including the Department of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA). The Code provides principles aimed at maintaining ecological and economic sustainability for the aquaculture industry. The principles which form the basis for the Code are:
        • Ecologically sustainable development.
        • Economic viability.
        • Long term protection of the environment to ensure availability of suitable sites for aquaculture operations.
        • Compliance with, and auditing of adherence to, regulations and the Code of Conduct.
        • Resource sharing and consideration of other users of the environment.
        • Research and development to support the achievement of the above five priorities.
        International arrangements
        Australia is a member of the following international arrangements:
        • World Trade Organization (WTO).
        • Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC).
        • Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA).
        • The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
        • Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).
        Australia is party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The country has not ratified the Biosafety Protocol.
        Planning
        Authorization system
        The South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005) is the main piece of legislation governing the management, control and development of the aquaculture sector. The Act includes provisions giving the South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries the powers to grant aquaculture licences and the power to make decisions on licence conditions, as well as conditions and terms of leases. The Act also establishes bodies to administer or advise on aspects of the Act, as well as giving legal authority for associated activities. The administrative responsibilities under the Act have been delegated to the Department of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA). The Act grants the Governor the power to make regulations with regard to the matters stated in the Act.

        According to the Act, no person must carry on aquaculture, whether marine, land-based coastal or land-based freshwater, except as authorised by an aquaculture licence granted by the Minister. An aquaculture licence is granted for a term of 10 years, or a lesser period specified in the licence, and is renewable for successive terms. However if the licence is a corresponding licence in relation to a lease, (eg a marine lease and licence) the terms of the licence is coextensive with the term of the lease and is renewable for successive terms. The licence authorises an aquaculture farm to operate at a specific location, and specifies the species and type of farming activity to be undertaken on the site.

        A marine aquaculture licence can only be granted for an area that is subject to a lease, provided the area is within State waters and/or adjacent land that is the seabed. The lease is tenure of a public resource and permits exclusive occupation of the farm site for a specific number of years. In these cases a corresponding licence will be granted, giving the fish farmer a licence in respect of all or part of the area of the lease. The lease and licence holder may be the same or different persons/ legal entities. See the section "Access to land and water" for more details on leases.

        Applications for aquaculture licences within State waters and/or adjacent land will be a combined application for both the lease and the licence.

        An aquaculture licence can be suspended or cancelled if the licensee obtained the licence improperly, the licensee has failed to comply with a condition of the licence, or the licensee has committed an offence against any other law relating to aquaculture, fishing or environment protection.

        The Minister may, in accordance with the Act, make aquaculture policies for any purpose directed towards securing the objects of the Act, and must, in the preparation of a draft Policy, obtain and consider the advice of the Aquaculture Advisory Committee established under the Act. The Minister must prepare a report in relation to a draft Policy containing an explanation of the purpose and effect of the draft Policy, a summary of any background and issues relevant to the draft Policy and of the analysis and reasoning applied in formulating the Policy, and an assessment of the consistency of the draft Policy with the Planning Strategy and any relevant Development Plan under the Development Act (1993), any relevant environment protection Policy under the Environment Protection Act (1993) and any other relevant plans or policies.

        The Act provides that the draft aquaculture Policy and the related report must be referred to prescribed bodies and relevant public authorities, as well as being subject to a public consultation. Following the approval of the draft Policy by the Minister, it must be referred to the Parliament for approval.

        In order to establish a leasing and licensing policy framework, the Aquaculture Leasing and Licensing Policy (2004) was made by the Minister under the Act, however many of the matters contemplated by the leasing and licensing Policy are now dealt with by Aquaculture Regulations (2005).
        Access to land and water
        All marine-licensing decisions will have regard to relevant Aquaculture Resource Management Policies and Aquaculture Management Zone Policies, which are made in accordance with the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005). These documents form the basis for determining the type and level of aquaculture activity allowed. As for the Aquaculture Management Zone Policies, the Minister may identify the following zones within State waters:
        • aquaculture zones, in which specified classes of aquaculture will be permitted.
        • Prospective aquaculture zones, that has effect for a specified period not exceeding three years during which investigations are to be completed to determine whether the zone should become an aquaculture zone in which specified classes of aquaculture will be permitted.
        • Aquaculture exclusion zones, in which no aquaculture will be permitted.
        • Aquaculture emergency zones, for emergency relocation of aquaculture operations of a specified class.
        The Aquaculture Act sets forth that a marine licence (within State waters and/or adjacent land) may not be granted unless the area is subject of an aquaculture lease granted by the Minister. Such a lease may not be granted in respect of an area within an Aquaculture exclusion zone. The Minister may not grant an aquaculture lease, or make a public call for applications for an aquaculture lease, unless a decision has been made that a corresponding licence will be granted (see the section "Authorization system to engage in and set up an aquaculture facility").

        Pursuant to the Act, the aquaculture lease must specify the class of aquacultur that may be carried out in the area of the lease, being either pilot leases, development leases or production leases, and in circumstances of emergency, emergency leases. The classes indicate differences in, inter alia, the type of aquaculture to be carried out on the lease, e.g. subtidal shellfish, intertidal shellfish, finfish etc.

        A pilot lease may be granted in respect of an area comprising or including State waters outside of an aquaculture zone, or within an prospective aquaculture zone if an applicant is determined through an allocation process approved (through a recommendation) by the Aquaculture Tenure Allocation Board (ATAB). The term of a pilot lease is 12 months or a lesser period specified in the lease. A pilot lease is renewable for successive terms but not so the aggregate of the terms exceeds three years.

        A development lease may only be granted in respect of an area comprising or including State waters within an aquaculture zone. A development lease may only be granted through an allocation process approved (through a recommendation) by ATAB involving tendering or some other similar competitive process. The term of a development lease is 3 years or a lesser period specified in the lease. Furthermore, the holder of a pilot lease may apply to the Minister for conversion of the lease to a development lease. A pilot lease may be converted, within specified time limits, firstly, if the State waters included in the lease are within an aquaculture zone and the Minister is satisfied that the aquaculture that has been carried out meets performance criteria specified by the conditions of the pilot lease. Secondly, a lease may be converted, regardless of whether the facility is within a zone, if the Minister is satisfied that conversion of the lease would be consistent with the objects of the Act and any prescribed criteria or other relevant provisions of an applicable aquaculture policy, and that the aquaculture that has been carried out meets the performance criteria specified by the conditions of the pilot lease. For the latter type of conversion, the matter does also have to be referred to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The lease is renewable for successive terms, but not so the aggregate of the terms exceeds nine years.

        A holder of a development lease may apply to the Minister for conversion of the lease to a production lease. A development lease may be converted on the same conditions as from pilot lease to development lease. The term of a production lease is 20 years or a lesser period, and is renewable.

        The power of the Minister to grant an aquaculture lease is subject to the requirement under the South Australia Harbors and Navigation Act (1993) for the concurrence of the Minister regarding property of the Crown.

        Furthermore, prior to any aquaculture licence being issued, development approval for construction work, change in the use of land or an act or activity in relation to land (including development on or under water) must be sought according to the South Australia Development Act (1993).

        Access to privately owned land for the running of a land based aquaculture farm must be agreed upon with the land owner. Granting the right to access to public land might be required according to the South Australia Crown Lands Act (1997).

        There are several approvals that may be required for land based aquaculture, depending on the type of aquaculture proposed. According to the South Australia Natural Resources Management Act (2004), a water licence granted by the Minister must be obtained in order to authorise the holder to take water from a prescribed watercourse, lake or well. A permit to erect, construct or enlarge a dam, well or other structure that will collect or divert water within certain areas, and a well drillers' licence, might be required in accordance with the same act. Furthermore, consent to clear native vegetation might be required according to the South Australia Native Vegetation Act (1991). The erection of structures such as sheds, pumping facilities etc., needs to be authorised by the relevant planning authority, in most cases Local Government (District, Shire or City Council).
        EIA
        The main Commonwealth legislation dealing with environmental impact is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act 1999, as amended in 2003). The Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Heritage has the assessment and approval role under the Act. An approval may be needed where an aquaculture development has, or may have, a significant impact on 'matters of national environmental significance', being actions that may affect World Heritage properties, national heritage, wetlands of international importance ("Ramsar wetlands"), listed threatened species and communities, listed migratory species and Commonwealth marine environment.

        In accordance with the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005), an Aquaculture Environmental Management Framework Policy (2004) has been endorsed, establishing an environmental assessment, monitoring and management framework for all sectors of aquaculture. The Policy describes provisions that will form the basis for license and lease conditions, including aquaculture license assessment, environmental management and monitoring, site management and indemnity, site rehabilitation and remediation.

        An application for an aquaculture licence must meet relevant policy objectives and will be assessed by the Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) to determine the likely environmental impact the proposal will have on the seabed and surrounding area. When considering the environmental issues associated with an application within a zone (see the section "Access to land and water"), PIRSA will take into account:
        • The demonstrated level of commitment and knowledge of the applicant to ensure the operations of the site are managed in an environmentally sustainable manner and;
        • The ability of the operator to demonstrate capacity for the implementation, analysis and reporting of environmental monitoring programs in marine environments.
        For applications outside a zone, the applicant will also be required to provide the following information to an adequate level, which would otherwise have been considered in the development of a zone Policy:
        • the description of the substrate and surrounding area; and
        • a biogeographical report detailing the sensitivities of the surround ecosystems to environmental impacts from aquaculture developments.
        Pursuant to the Aquaculture Act, all marine and land based licence applications will be forwarded to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for a response. In assessing license applications, the Act sets forth that EPA will have regard to the South Australia Environment Protection Act (1993), as well as to "the general environmental duty and any relevant environmental protection policies under that act". Aquaculture does not, however, require an authorisation under the Environment Protection Act. If the EPA does not approve the grant or a license, the applicant has a right of appeal.

        The Aquaculture Regulations (2005) provides for environmental monitoring and reporting requirements for aquaculture licensees. The report requirements relate to benthic assessment or water quality, supplemental feed, stocks, disease incidents and chemicals used. See the section "Water quality and discharge of wastewater" for more details.
        Operation
        Water and wastewater
        Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy (2003), adopted under the South Australian Environment Protection Act (1993), has been introduced by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to provide a consistent state-wide approach for the protection of water quality in all water bodies, including marine, estuarine and inland waters, and sets discharge limits on ammonia, oxidised nitrogen, phosphorus and suspended sediments. A separate license issued under the Act is no longer required, but the Policy requires all reasonable and practicable measures to be taken to avoid the discharge or deposit of waste into any waters or onto a place from which it is reasonably likely waste will enter any waters.

        The Policy prescribes water quality criteria that must not be contravened, and prohibits the discharge or deposition of pollutants into any waters that results in:
        • Loss of sea grass or other native aquatic vegetation.
        • Reduction in numbers of any native species of aquatic animal or insect.
        • Increase in numbers of any non-native species of aquatic animal or insect.
        • Reduction in numbers of aquatic organisms necessary to a healthy aquaticecosystem.
        • Increase in algal or aquatic plant growth.
        • Water becoming toxic to vegetation on land.
        • Water becoming harmful or offensive to humans, livestock or native animals.
        • Increased turbidity or sediment levels.
        The Aquaculture Regulations (2005), adopted under the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005), set forth provisions regarding environmental monitoring and reporting, addressing, inter alia, benthic assessment and water quality.

        If a license authorizes the carrying on of aquaculture on a navigable vessel that operates within an area of State waters, the licensee must carry out water testing. Water samples must be collected at least 6 times per reporting year. Both samples of water to be used for aquaculture on the vessel, and samples of waste water discharged from the vessel, must be collected and tested. The licensee must, on or before the reporting day in each year, provide to the Minister a report for the preceding reporting year, containing, inter alia, the dates on which the water samples were collected, accompanied by the results of the testing of the water samples.

        Water testing must also be carried out if a license authorizes aquaculture carried on in an area not comprised of State waters or State waters and adjacent land. If the license is designated by the Minister as having a medium or high environmental risk profile, the licensee must carry out water testing either once a year (medium environmental risk profile) or three times a year (high environmental risk profile). Both samples of water from the body of water from which water is obtained for aquaculture, and samples of waste water discharged from the license area, must be collected. In addition, the licensee must provide to the Minister a report containing information about, inter alia, farming structures, water bodies and water used in the course of aquaculture, and water discharged from farming structures, accompanied by the results of the testing of the water samples.

        Water testing must also be carried out if a license authorizes the use of a farming structure designed to be transported by road or rail. Samples of waste water discharge from the structure must be collected by the licensee at least 3 times per reporting year. The licensee must, on or before the reporting day in each year, provide to the Minister a report for the preceding reporting year containing, inter alia, the dates on which water samples were collected, accompanied by a copy of the results of the testing of the water samples.

        If a license authorizes the farming of finfish or molluscs in a subtidal area, the licensee must cause a benthic assessment recording to be made, comprising a colour videotape of the sea floor. A written record must be made of the location and of the observations made. This information must be provided to the Minister on or before the reporting day each year.

        The Aquaculture Regulations do also confer powers on fisheries officers as regards keeping of records. A fisheries officer may require a person who is required to keep records under these regulations, or in accordance with license conditions, to produce the records for inspection; and make copies of, or take extracts from those records, as well as take photographs, films or audio, video or other recordings for the purposes of the administration or enforcement of the Aquaculture Act or Regulations.

        The Aquaculture Regulations does also set forth provisions regarding aquaculture waste. According to the regulations, a licensee must ensure that:
        • Aquaculture waste does not cause an unsightly or offensive condition at the license area.
        • Aquaculture waste is secured or treated in a manner designed to prevent it being blown, washed or swept off the license area.
        A licensee must ensure that if aquaculture waste is blown, washed or swept off the license area, it is recovered as soon as practicable.
        Fish movement
        The Quarantine Act (1908) of the Commonwealth establishes quarantine requirements designed to prevent the introduction into Australia, the establishment in Australia, or the spread within Australia, of human, animal (including fish) or plant pests and diseases.

        According to the Act, the Governor General may by proclamation prohibit the importation into Australia, as well as the bringing into any port or other place in Australia, of any animals, or any parts of animals. Furthermore, the Governor General may by proclamation prohibit the removal of any animals or parts of animals from any part of the Commonwealth to any other part of the Commonwealth. Exemptions from these prohibitions may be proclaimed, under certain circumstances, for animals that are brought into a part of Australia that is in, or in an area in the vicinity of, a Protected Zone (Zone established under Article 10 of the Torres Strait Treaty).

        The Governor General may declare a disease or pest to be a quarantinable disease or quarantinable pest. He may also declare quarantine areas, and that any vessel, people, animal, plant or other goods in any quarantine area, or in any part of the Commonwealth in which a disease or pest exists or is suspected to exist, are to be subject to quarantine. He may also declare first ports of entry for overseas vessels.

        The Act also gives the Minister the powers to give such directions and take such action as he thinks necessary to control and eradicate an epidemic, or danger of an epidemic, which is caused by a quarantinable disease or quarantinable pest. The Minister may also by notice published in the Gazette, declare an area to be a Special Quarantine Zone.

        Furthermore, a quarantine officer may, after an examination, order into quarantine any imported animal, whether subject to quarantine or not, that in the officer's opinion are, or are likely to be, infected with a disease or pest, contain, or appear to contain, any disease or pest, or have been exposed to infection from a disease or pest. The Quarantine Regulations (2000), adopted under the Act, regulates the performance of quarantine.

        The South Australia Livestock Act (1997, as amended in 2000) provides provisions regarding the movement of livestock or livestock products. Livestock includes aquatic animals. The Act states that if livestock or livestock products are affected with a notifiable condition (declared by the Minister by notice in the Gazette), or there is reason to suspect this, the livestock or livestock products must not be brought into, removed from or moved within the State without the approval of the Chief Inspector. This does not apply to movement of livestock or livestock products within a holding. Furthermore, the Act sets forth that a person must not, without the approval of the Chief Inspector, sell or supply livestock or livestock products affected with a notifiable condition.

        Furthermore, for the purposes of controlling or eradicating disease or contamination, the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, prohibit the entry into the State, or a specified part of the State, of livestock or livestock products. Such movement can also be subject to conditions, e.g. that specified documentation is required.

        The Minister has issued The Livestock (Restrictions on Entry of Aquaculture Organisms) Notice (2005), under the Livestock Act (1997). The Notice provides that aquaculture stock must not enter the State, or a license area, unless accompanied by documentation issued by the supplier of the aquatic organisms specifying:
        • The name and address of the supplier of the aquatic organisms.
        • The species of aquatic organisms.
        • The number or biomass of the aquatic organisms.
        • The age or developmental stage of the aquatic organisms.
        • If the aquatic organisms have been hatchery reared--details identifying the last place at which the organisms were reared before consignment.
        • If the aquatic organisms have been taken from the wild--details identifying the area from which the organisms have been taken.
        • The intended destination of the aquatic organisms.
        Regarding introduction of aquaculture stock that have been hatchery reared in South Australia or taken from South Australian waters, the Notice provides the following:

        Abalone that has been hatchery reared or taken in the State must not enter a license area that is below astronomical low tide level unless:
        • If there is a population of abalone within an area surrounding the license area, the abalone are the progeny of broodstock abalone collected from within that area surrounding the license area.
        • The abalone are accompanied by a certificate certifying that the abalone in the test sample are not affected with a notifiable disease and do not display signs of being affected with a disease.
        • The Aquaculture Minister has been provided with a copy of the certificate at least 2 days before the abalone enter the license area.
        Aquaculture stock comprised of protected finfish, or native freshwater finfish that have been hatchery reared in the State, must not enter a license area that is in a flood plain or in which aquaculture is carried on by means of a semi-closed or semi-open system unless:
        • The finfish are the progency of broodstock from the water catchment areas for the license area.
        • The Aquaculture Minister has been given at least 2 days written notice of theproposed entry of the finfish.
        • In the case of native freshwater finfish entering a license area in the Murray-Darling basin--the finfish are Murray-Darling species and strains.
        • In the case of native freshwater finfish entering a license area in the Lake EyreAgreement Area--the finfish are Cooper Creek species and strains.
        Aquaculture stock comprised of protected finfish, or native freshwater finfish that have been taken from South Australian waters must not enter a license area that is in a flood plain or in which aquaculture is carried on by means of a semi-closed or semi-open system without the prior written approval of the Aquaculture Minister.

        Aquaculture stock comprised of prescribed marine or freshwater finfish that have beenhatchery reared in South Australia must not enter a license area in which aquaculture iscarried on by means of a semi-closed or semi-open system unless:
        • The fish are accompanied by a certificate certifying that the fish in the test sample are not affected with a notifiable disease.
        • The Minister has been given at least 2 days written notice of the proposed entry of the fish or prior written approval of the Minister has been obtained.
        Aquaculture stock comprised of fish of the species prescribed marine or freshwater finfish, which have been taken from South Australian waters, must not enter a license area in which aquaculture is carried on by means of a semi-closed or semi-open system without the prior written approval of the Aquaculture Minister.

        Aquaculture stock comprised of salmonids, or exotic finfish that have been hatchery reared or taken in the State, must not enter a license area without the prior written approval of the Aquaculture Minister.

        The Notice does also include provisions regarding the introduction of aquaculture stock that has been hatchery reared outside South Australia or taken in waters other than South Australian waters. First, the Notice sets forth that such aquaculture stock must not enter the State, or a license area, without the prior written approval of the Aquaculture Minister.

        Regarding aquaculture stock comprised of finfish that have been hatchery reared or taken outside the State, these may enter a license area if:
        • The fish are accompanied by a certificate that certifies that the fish in the test sample are not affected with a notifiable disease and do not display signs of being affected with a disease.
        • At least 2 days before the fish enter the license area, the Aquaculture Minister has been provided with a copy of the certificate.
        Aquaculture stock comprised of pacific oyster spat that have been hatchery reared by a designated pacific oyster supplier may enter a license area if the spat is accompanied by a certificate that certifies that:
        • The spat have been reared in a manner that achieves shell drying for atleast 4 hours out of each 24 hour period.
        • Since being harvested for consignment, the spat have been immersed in freshwater for a continuous period of at least 12 hours; and have been depurated in sterilized seawater for a continuous period of at least 12 hours.
        • Within 4 days before consignment, the spat has been passed through a mesh screen to ensure that they are no larger than 15 millimeters in any dimension.
        Aquaculture stock comprised of Anguilla species that have been hatchery reared or taken outside the State, may enter a license area in which aquaculture is carried on by means of a semi-closed system if:
        • The fish are accompanied by a certificate that certifies that the fish in the test sample are not affected with a notifiable disease and do not display signs of being affected with a disease.
        • At least 2 days before the fish enter the license area, the Aquaculture Minister has been provided with a copy of the certificate.
        The Aquaculture Regulations (2005), adopted under the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005), does also include provisions addressing fish movement. The Regulations provide that if a licensee knows, or ought reasonably to know, that an aquatic organism proposed to be introduced into the license area is, or may be, affected with a disease, the licensee must ensure that the aquatic organism is not introduced into the license area without the prior written approval of the Minister.

        Furthermore, if a licensee knows, or ought reasonably to know, that an aquatic organism being farmed under the license is, or may be affected, with a disease, the licensee must ensure that the aquatic organism is not removed from the license area, unless it is removed for testing, for disposal (other than by sale or supply to another), or it is removed in accordance with the written approval of the Minister.

        The Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) is currently developing a disease zoning and surveillance plan. These zones are the basic geographic units for assessing the risks associated with translocation and trade. For current purposes of disease zoning, the marine sector in South Australia can be considered a single zone, and each inland drainage division can be considered a single zone.
        Disease control
        The South Australia Livestock Act (1997, as amended in 2000) provides measures to control or eradicate notified conditions among livestock, including aquatic animals. A notifiable condition is a notifiable disease or a notifiable contaminant as declared by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.

        The Act sets forth that if a person knows, or suspects, that livestock or livestock products or other property owned by, or under his or her control, are affected with, or have died from, a notifiable condition, the person must report to an inspector by the quickest practicable means, and give the inspector further information reasonably required. In the case of a notifiable disease, the person has to take all reasonable measures to control or eradicate the disease. A veterinary surgeon or a livestock consultant has a similar duty to report and give information to an inspector in this case.

        Moreover, the Act establish that for the purposes of controlling or eradicating disease or contamination, the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, impose requirements including, inter alia, prohibition or restrictions on movement of livestock or livestock products (see the section "Fish movement"), examinations, testing, detaining, confining, vaccinating, as well as subjecting livestock, livestock products or other property to treatment, or destroying and disposing, as well as any other requirement reasonably required in the circumstances.

        Furthermore, the Act warrants the right of an inspector to impose individual orders, imposing the kind of requirements the Minister can declare by notice in the Gazette. Accordingly, if an inspector knows, or has reason to suspect, that livestock or livestock products or other property is affected with, or in danger of becoming affected with, a disease or contaminant, the inspector may issue an order for the purposes of controlling or eradicating the disease or contamination. If a person, who is required to take action in compliance with a notice or order, refuses or fails to do so, an inspector may take the action required.

        In emergency situations, the Act provides that if an inspector considers on reasonable grounds that urgent action is required for the purposes of controlling or eradicating disease or contamination, he may, after giving reasonable notice, take any action that could be required to be taken by notice or order. Such actions can also be taken where there is no person apparently in charge, the owner cannot be located after reasonable inquiry, and the inspector knows, or has reason to suspect, that livestock or livestock products or other property are affected with, or in danger of becoming affected with, a disease or contaminant.

        As regards the destruction or disposal of livestock, livestock products, feed or equipment or articles used in relation to livestock, an inspector may not issue an order, take action, or cause action to be taken, except with the consent of the owner, or upon the approval of the Chief Inspector.

        The Act do also establish the general powers of the inspectors, stating that an inspector may exercise his powers, including entering and searching any place, seizure etc., for the purposes of carrying out investigations; evaluating the facilities and equipment used in, or the processes or procedures carried out at, an artificial breeding centre; and otherwise administering or enforcing the Act.

        As regards investigations, the Act states that an inspector may carry out an investigation as reasonably necessary for the purposes of identifying the cause of death or of a condition affecting livestock; determining whether or not livestock or other property is or remains affected with a disease or contaminant, and; identifying or tracing a source likely to cause or to have caused livestock or other property to be affected with a disease or contaminant.

        When taking action to control or eradicate disease or contamination, the Act provides that the Minister, the Chief Inspector or an inspector must have regard to nationally agreed strategies addressing exotic disease; and in any other case, the gravity of the consequences of the disease or contamination for public health, and the health of livestock and native or feral animals, and the livestock industry, as well as guidelines approved by the Minister.

        The Aquaculture Regulations (2005), adopted under the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005), sets forth provisions addressing the prevention and control of aquatic diseases.

        The regulations sets forth duties to notify any unusually high mortality rate and to isolate unaffected organisms. Accordingly, if an unusually high number of aquatic organisms farmed under a license die within a period of 24 hours and the cause is not immediately apparent, the licensee must ensure that the Minister is immediately notified. The information to be provided is: the name of the species affected; the number or biomass of aquatic organisms that have died; details of any clinical signs observable in the organisms prior to death; the number or biomass of aquatic organisms that show similar clinical signs but have not died; details of circumstances that may be contributing factors such as extreme weather, power failures, poor water quality or water temperature. Furthermore, the licensee must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to isolate aquatic organisms apparently affected, from aquatic organisms not apparently affected.

        The regulations also provides that a licensee must maintain a stock register. The stock register must contain information in respect of aquatic organisms supplied to or by the licensee, aquatic organisms collected or bred by the licensee, as well as aquatic organisms that have died during aquaculture. The information that is required is related to the species of aquatic organisms; the number or biomass of aquatic organisms received/collected/supplied/bred/dead; the age or developmental stage of the aquatic organisms when received/collected/supplied/dead; and the date the aquatic organisms were received/collected/bred/supplied/dead.

        In addition, the stock register must include the following information in respect of aquatic organisms supplied to the licensee: the name and address of the person who supplied the aquatic organisms; details identifying the place at which the aquatic organisms were last reared before supply or the place at which the aquatic organisms were collected; and a copy of any health certification that accompanied the aquatic organisms.

        In respect of aquatic organisms collected by the licensee, the stock register must contain the following additional information: details identifying the authority under the Fisheries Act (1982) under which the aquatic organisms were collected and details identifying the place at which the aquatic organisms were collected.

        Regarding aquatic organisms bred by the licensee, the stock register must also contain the details identifying the broodstock used to breed the aquatic organisms.

        Regarding aquatic organisms supplied by the licensee to another person, the stock register must also contain the name and address of the person to whom the aquatic organisms were supplied; and a copy of any health certification provided by the licensee to accompany the aquatic organisms.

        In respect of aquatic organisms that have died during aquaculture, the stock register must also contain a description of how and where the aquatic organisms were disposed of.

        The stock register must also contain details of treatment administered for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes to aquatic organisms kept under the license, including the reasons for the treatment; the dates on which the treatment was administered; the name of each substance used as part of the treatment and the dosages or amounts administered; as well as information that identifies the aquatic organisms that received treatment by reference to tank or cage number or by other means.

        A record required to be entered in the stock register must be entered within 7 days after the event to which it relates. A record entered in the stock register must be retained for 5 years from the date on which it was entered.

        A licensee must, on a date or dates determined by the Minister in each year, provide the Minister with a periodic return containing such information as the Minister requires in the manner and form determined by the Minister.

        A fisheries officer may require a person who is required to keep records under these regulations, or in accordance with license conditions, to produce the records for inspection; make copies of or take extracts from those records; take photographs, films or audio, video or other recordings for the purposes of the administration or enforcement of the Aquaculture Act or regulations.

        Moreover, a licensee must have a written strategy approved by the Minister for minimizing the risk of the escape of aquaculture stock into the wild, and for minimizing adverse interactions with seabirds and large marine vertebrates resulting from aquaculture. The licensee must ensure that activities under the license conform to the approved strategy.

        The licensee does also have a duty to notify the escape of stock or damage that may lead to escape of stock. Accordingly, a licensee must within 12 hours after becoming aware of the escape of hatchery reared aquaculture stock, or damage to a farming structure or other equipment that may lead to the escape of hatchery reared aquaculture stock, notify the Minister, giving details about the following: the species of aquatic organisms affected; the date on which the escape or damage took place; the number and biomass of aquatic organisms that have escaped; the age or developmental stage of the aquatic organisms at the time of their escape; details of the circumstances in which the escape or damage took place; and, within 7 days after becoming aware of the escape or damage, notify the Minister in writing of the action taken to deal with it.

        Regarding abalone farmed on a navigable vessel in State waters, the regulations provides that a licensee must ensure that aquaculture stock brought on to the vessel must comprise of abalone that have been hatchery reared in South Australia. Furthermore, the stock must be accompanied by a Health certificate which the Minister is provided with a copy of at least 2 days before the abalone are brought on to the vessel. The licensee must provide the Minister with a Health certificate at least once in each 6 month period. It must certify that the abalone in the test sample are not affected with a notifiable condition within the meaning of the Livestock Act (1997), and that they do not display signs of being affected with a disease.

        In accordance with the Aquaculture Act, an Aquatic Animal Health Policy (2003) has been developed, addressing disease prevention, emergency response, surveillance, disease management and animal welfare.
        Drugs
        The Commonwealth Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act (1992, as amended in 2005) establishes the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The functions appointed to the APVMA pursuant to the act includes to assess the suitability for sale in Australia of chemical products, to evaluate the effects of the use of chemical products, to publish information relating to chemical products and their use, as well as to annually publish the approved standards for residues of chemical products in commodities.

        The Act does also include provisions regarding the import, manufacture and export of agricultural chemicals and veterinary chemical products. Regarding import, the Act sets forth that a person must not import into Australia a chemical product that is not registered/ approved or exempted by the APVMA. In order to export a chemical product, a certificate needs to be obtained from APVMA.

        The Commonwealth Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act (1994 , as amended in 2005), establishes provision for the evaluation, registration and control of agricultural and veterinary chemical products, including those treating fish, crustaceans and molluscs. The Act sets out the definitions of agricultural chemical and veterinary chemical products and establishes a system for the registration of chemical products according to the hazards or risks they pose. The APVMA is in charge of processing applications for registration, classifying them registered chemical products, listable chemical products and reserved chemical products, the latter being products that don't need to be registered.
        The APVMA must also keep a register of agricultural and veterinary chemical products.

        The Act also includes provisions regarding the control of chemical products, providing for, inter alia, prohibiting the possession and supply of unapproved/ unregistered chemical products and the granting of permits to experiment with chemical products. Furthermore, the Act determines rules for the manufacture of chemical products, establishing a licensing system for manufacture, as well as prohibiting the manufacture of certain chemical products.

        The Commonwealth Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations (1995, as amended in 2004), adopted under the Act, includes further definitions of agricultural chemical and veterinary chemical products, rules for the application process and the registration of chemical products, as well as further rules regarding the control and manufacture of such products. The Regulation also includes provisions regarding the duty to notify the supply of hormonal growth promotants, and the duty for an importer or manufacturer to keep a record on each occasion on which the promotant is supplied to another person, whereupon a copy of the record must be handed in to the APVMA. Furthermore, the Regulation includes a list of restricted chemical products.

        The South Australian Agricultural and Veterinary Products (Control of Use) Act (2002) and the Agricultural and Veterinary Products (Control of Use) Regulations (2004), adopted under the Act, specifies how products may legally be used. As regards aquaculture, the chemicals are required to be used according to label or permit instructions and/or under veterinary prescription.

        The South Australia Veterinary Practices Act (2003) sets forth restrictions as to who can provide veterinary treatment, establishing as a main rule that no person can provide such treatment for fee or reward unless the person is authorised under the Act or any other act.

        The Fisheries (Exotic Fish, Fish Farming and Fish Diseases) Regulations (2000), adopted under the South Australia Fisheries Act (1982), sets forth provisions addressing the treatment of aquatic diseases. According to the Regulation, a person must not, except with the approval of a fisheries officer and under a fisheries officer's supervision, treat farmed fish that are, or apparently are, suffering from a prescribed notifiable disease or are reasonably suspected to be suffering from a prescribed notifiable disease. Prescribed notifiable diseases are specified in an annex to the Regulation.The Aquaculture Regulations (2005), adopted under the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005), provide that a licensee must ensure that a substance is not used for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes or as an antifoulant in the course of aquaculture, unless it is a registered veterinary chemical product, within the meaning of the South Australia Agricultural and Veterinary Products (Control of Use) Act (2002), and is used in accordance with the instructions for the product or a permit, or the licensee has obtained the written approval of the Minister to use the substance in that way.

        Furthermore, a licensee must ensure that a substance is not used as a disinfectant in the course of aquaculture carried on under the license, unless it is one of the following: citric acid, Hydrogen peroxide, Iodophore, Sodium carbonate, Sodium hydroxide, Sodium hypochlorite, Virkon; or the licensee has obtained the written approval of the Minister to use the substance in that way.

        The Regulations do also provide for the duty to report on the use of chemicals in aquaculture on finfish and molluscs (subtidal or intertidal area); aquaculture on navigable vessels; aquaculture outside State waters; and aquaculture on farming structures designed to be transported by road or rail. I theses cases, the licensee must, on or before the reporting day in each year, provide to the Minister a report containing, for each month, the amount and type of chemicals (including but not limited to therapeutic or prophylactic substances, antifoulants and disinfectants) used in the license area or on the vessel.
        Feed
        According to the South Australia Livestock Act (1997, as amended in 2000) a person must not, without the approval of the Chief Inspector, feed to livestock (including aquatic animals), or permit livestock to feed on, a product that may cause the livestock to become affected with a notifiable condition, or sell or supply food for livestock that could cause the livestock to become affected with a notifiable condition.

        The Aquaculture Regulations (2005), adopted under the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005), provides for the duty to report annually on the use of feed in aquaculture. If a license authorizes the farming of finfish, molluscs in a subtidal area, aquaculture on navigable vessels; aquaculture outside State waters; and aquaculture on farming structures designed to be transported by road or rail, the licensee must, on or before the reporting day in each year, provide to the Minister a report containing, for each month, the amount and type of supplemental feed used in the license area.
        Food safety
        In 2000, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code was adopted, being part of the Inter-Governmental Food Regulation Agreement between the two countries. The Code was Gazetted on 20 December 2000 in both Australia and New Zealand as an alternate to existing food regulations until 20 December 2002, when it became the sole food code for both countries. The Code is a collection of individual food standards and aims to reduce the prescription of existing food regulations in both countries.

        The system is implemented by food legislation in each State and Territory and by the Commonwealth Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act (1991). The Act establishes the mechanisms for the development of joint food regulatory measures (a food standard or a code of practice) and creates the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) as the agency responsible for the development and maintenance of a joint Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

        FSANZ' function is to develop nationally enforceable primary production and processing standards for food produced by the primary industry sector, as well as codes of practice, within the framework of the Act. Matters that may be included in the standards and codes of practice, include, inter alia:
        • the composition of food, including maximum amounts of contaminants or residues; maximum or minimum amounts of additives; microbiological status and safety; the method of sampling and testing the food to determine its composition;
        • the production of food;
        • the handling of food;
        • the prohibition of the sale of food:
        • any information about food, including labelling, promotion and advertising;
        • the knowledge, skill, health and hygiene requirements for people handling food;
        • the responsibilities of businesses that are handling food relating to hygiene requirements;
        • the design, construction, maintenance and cleanliness of premises and equipment used for handling food, and vehicles used to transport food.
        The Food Standards Australia New Zealand Regulations (1994), adopted under the Act, implement provisions of the Act regarding matters related to, inter alia, appropriate government agencies, application, disclosure of confidential commercial information and the Board of Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

        The South Australia Food Act (2001) provides for the application of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code as defined in the Commonwealth Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act (1991). The Food Regulations (2002), adopted under the South Australia Food Act, adopts the Food Standards Code with certain modifications.

        According too the South Australia Food Act, a person must not handle food intended for sale in a manner that the person knows will render, or is likely to render, the food unsafe. Furthermore, a person must not sell food that the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, is unsafe. Furthermore, the Act sets forth provisions related to the false description of food, the handling and sale of unsuitable and unsafe food, as well as the misleading conduct relating to sale of food.

        The Act also grants the Minister with the power of making orders if he has reasonable grounds to believe that this is necessary to prevent, or reduce the possibility of a serious danger to public health or to mitigate the adverse consequences of a serious danger to public health. An order can be, inter alia, to prohibit the taking of fish that is intended to be used for human consumption from a specified area; to direct food consigned or distributed for sale, or sold, to be recalled, impounded, isolated or destroyed. The Act gives authorised officers the powers to inspect premises and vehicles, as well as records or documents that relate to the handling of any food intended for sale or the sale of food.

        According to the South Australia Fisheries Act (1982), a person must not act as a fish processor unless registered. A registered fish processor must not use any premises in connection with processing, storing or dealing with fish unless the premises is specified in the certificate of registration. According to the Fisheries (Fish Processors) Regulations (1991), adopted under the Act, a person who is registered to conduct a fish farming operation, and who only processes fish taken pursuant to a licence for sale to a registered fish processor or directly to persons who consume such fish, is not required to be registered as fish processor.

        According to the South Australia Primary Produce (Food Safety Schemes) Act (2004), the Governor may make regulations establishing a food safety scheme for a class of activities involved in the production of primary produce. A producer of primary produce, including fish or fish products intended for consumption by humans, must not engage in a class of activities to which a food safety scheme applies, without an accreditation if accreditation is required by the food safety scheme.
        Miscellaneous
        The Aquaculture Resource Management Fund is established under the South Australia Aquaculture Act (2001, as amended in 2003 and 2005). The Fund, which must be kept as directed by the Treasurer, consists of the following money:
        • The prescribed percentage of fees (other than expiation fees) paid under the Act.
        • Expiation fees and the prescribed percentage of penalties recovered in respect of offences against the Act.
        • Rent or any other amount (not being fees) paid to the Minister under the Act.
        • Any money appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the Fund.
        • Any money paid into the Fund at the direction or with the approval of the -Minister and the Treasurer.
        • Any income from investment of money belonging to the Fund.
        • Any money paid into the Fund under any other Act
        The Fund may be applied by the Minister for the purposes of any investigations or other projects relating to the management of aquaculture resources or towards the costs of administration of the Act. The Minister may, with the approval of the Treasurer, invest any of the money belonging to the Fund that is not immediately required for the purposes of the Fund in such manner as are approved by the Treasurer. Aquaculture investment does not fall within the scope of the Aquaculture Act, therefore the fund is not applied for that purpose.
        References
        Legislation
        Database of Commonwealth and State legislation:
        Commonwealth legislation:
        South Australia legislation:
        Aquaculture Regulations (2005)
        Development Act (1993)
        Agricultural and Veterinary Products (Control of Use) Regulations (2004)
        Veterinary Practices Act (2003)
        The Livestock (Restrictions on Entry of Aquaculture Organisms) Notice (2005)
        South Australian policies:
        Aquaculture (Standard Lease Conditions) Policy (2005)
        Aquaculture Leasing and Licensing Policy (2004)
        Aquaculture Environmental Management Framework Policy (2004)
        Aquatic Animal Health Policy (2003)
        Literature:
        Aquaculture Australia Industry Report, Australian Government, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2004.
        Related resources
        Related links
        Country profiles: Australia
         
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