The proposed Franklin Harbor policy includes an aquaculture zone consolidating existing aquaculture activities, primarily oyster farming, covering an area of approximately 2,947 hectares.
In addition, there would be an aquaculture exclusion zone in an area of approximately 5,417 hectares, where aquaculture development will be prohibited.
PIRSA’s Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy, Sean Sloan, said: “The proposed aquaculture zone will not only allow for the consolidation of existing oyster farming businesses, but also provides designated areas for the communal holding of oysters and will provide leasable area for research and education purposes.
“The large exclusion zone covers areas of importance to other marine users, including the boating channels used frequently by recreational and commercial fishers, areas of high conservation significance and also areas that are thought to be the origin of important nutrients for oyster growth.”
The exclusion zone also includes buffers around the Cowell township, the Franklin Harbor Conservation Park and along the coastline. It also covers the declared sanctuary zone area within the Franklin Harbor Marine Park.
Mr Sloan added: “We welcome the community’s involvement during the public consultation phase and invite them to attend an information session at Cowell to find out more about the proposal.”
The public meeting on the proposed zone policy will be held at 6pm on Thursday 7 May at the Franklin Harbor Institute, 8 Main Street, Cowell, and the consultation is open until Tuesday, 23 June.
Copies of the draft policy, policy report and feedback form are available here.