Couple the above with a demonstrated Government Position of backing away from the agreed 70/30 partnership agreement.The introduction of new Primary Produce Food Safety Legislation and the issue of where TSQAP sits within that framework and you can see we’re headed for change.I think its fair to say the days of TSQAP being the Ray and Ali show are gone forever.I’d like to concentrate today on the issues that will have the greatest effect on the bottom line of the TSQAP budget and start to look at the process that have begun that will shape the future direction of TSQAP.
The guts of the matter is the recommendations of theSafefish Reviewwillguide the standard for the future management of biotoxins both nationally and at a state by state level.
Please bare in mind these costs are just for the HAB.If you start to add the direct cost from viral outbreaks And the damage done to the image of Tasmanian Shellfish Industry……….then damage to the image of “Tasmania” the brandYou can instantly see the importance of managing these risks into the future.The thing that made the politicians sit on the edge of their seats was reference to damaging Brand Tasmania. That’s the lever we need to be using.
This is not apportioning blame. Simply a statement of the factsThe important bit is these things are under the direct influence and control of TSQAP. Its at that level that change must be made to stop a similar event happening again.These points are From the executive summary of the safefish review: Fair to say:Our biotoxin management plan at the time………for whatever reason……….wasn’t sufficient to detect and manage “the HAB”Lab issues are ongoing. There have been further inconsistencies and failures with algal ID and counts in TAS. We’re using the Algal component of TSQAP as an early warning device. The reality is…….if the lab in Tasmania cant provide the service we require we need be looking at alternatives …….or questioning the value of the Algal component of the program and the costs associated with it.
The recommendations of the Safefish Review have been made to place Tasmania in a position where it can manage up coming HAB’s and have a framework in place to deal with new and emerging risks.A managed HAB is just that………… managed.In many other places in the world a HAB is simply a part of growing shellfish and doing business. Just another risk that needs to be managed.The key is having the tools, the personnel and right level of support from Government to give industry the public and our markets confidence in TSQAP.That’s what we need to get back to.
The first Recommendation The Safefish Review and likely outcomes were discussed at the last ASQAAC meeting in Pt. Stephens, August.In response to those discussion Clinton (chair) has scheduled meeting for the 23rd October to consider:1. Tasmania PST event background2. Recommendations from the Safefish Review3. Industry perspective/ feedback on the Safefish Review and its impacts.Review of the ASQAP Operations Manual relating to Biotoxin ManagementThe process of national reform has started.
Im not listing all the recommendations……….. Just the key ones as they relate to TSQAPPlease remember the Review recommendations are targeted at the Government, Regulators, the Seafood Industry and recreational and Indigenous Fishers.That means both Government and Industry must address the budget for the coming year around protecting public healthThe interim biotoxin management plan represents a very large component of the budget…….
The Interim Biotoxin Management Plan is almost done. The base plan was prepared by Ali and Ray before Ali’s departure. Some revisions have been suggested from the Management Committee to allow for risk based decisions to be applied to re opening criteria rather than a blanket prescriptive regulatory approach.The intent of the Biotoxin Management Plan is being enacted. That is Opening and closing criteria have shifted from Algal analysis to flesh testing results.Frequency has increased……… weekly meat and algae for most areas now in line with reviewed risk ratings for growing areas and the time of year.We continue to have ongoing problems with laboratory turnaround times.We’ve had Andrew Bradbury down AAL Sydney to explain the HPLC testing process to us.Without going into specifics the issue is, results will always be days (3++) after samples are submitted.Under this model closures and recalls will always be after product has been harvested and dispatched.There’s still a risk to public health with long turnaround times…………… not to mention the dollar cost of loss of product and a full blown food recall.What we need and what we will be pushing for is on farm, real time test kits.Abraxis Elisa kit. (US) is a possibility. Spring Bay have one for Evaluation. It needs work to determine a correlation between the Abraxis Elisa readings and HPLC results.Hopefully it can be used as a Farm and harvest management tool………. Not a regulatory tool at this time.Its impossible to make informed harvest decisions without information! In regard to making the labs accountable……….. The process is slow and we’re not happy with where its at. In the absence of a full time TSQAP manager it seems to us there’s been no urgency from within DHHS or DPIPWE to progress this issue.Same situation with the communication pathway.The positive is both are recommendations of the Review and will be at the attention of the new manager asap.
Again these are the key recommendation of the report as I see them……….. Not all of them. I urge you all to download the full report and comprehend it.All very good ideas and on a longer timeframe.The first point in particular needs to be done very carefully so as not to detract from the delivery of TSQAPWe need to drive home the fact the S in TSQAP means shellfish and always has. Any deviation from that cant be at our expense.
With the remainder of the sampling expenses being made up of normal TSQAP testing, heavy metals, bacto etc…That budget was prepared in line with the expected recommendations of the Safefish Review and after Alison spokewith international experts speakers at ICMSS (International Conference of Molluscas Shellfish Safety). That budget was prepared as a considered response to the HAB and how to resource TSQAP into the future. At that stage we didn’t know what we were in for this season or how big the risk was. That budget was determined around protect industry and public health in the face of the biotoxin risk.In the absence of a permanent TSQAP manager its been impossible to measure actual expenditure on testing vs projected expenditure. There’s room to streamline testing in line with harvest periods and long term closures. For example Smithton over winter……….but the unavoidable fact is the TSQAP budget will need to expand .The obvious and burning question is how much and who pays.We cant answer that yet, but there’s room to reduce the 1.2 million dollar figure substantially with careful planning and analysis and the focus of a full time TSQAP manager.
Megan is Ex NSW DPI…….. but we won’t hold it against her. Megan assures me she’s been fully decontaminated and harbors no poms virus or Sydney Rock genetics. I’d like to take this opportunity to offer Megan a very warm welcome to the Tasmanian shellfish community and Assure her that even though we face some short term challenges with TSQAP we’re a vibrant, positive and progressive industry full of friendly and positive people!!!Its up to us to convert her to AFL and the obvious benefits of the Pacific Oyster.Jason I’ve only met once, briefly but Im sure we can extend him the same welcome.
There was some concern from industry over whether we should be advertising for a different position than that which Ali vacated …….. given the changing nature of TSQAPStumpie and Phil were the industry representatives on the selection panel.Kim Evans called a halt to the process The rationale behind that decision was that, in line with the Safefish Review,……. there needs to be a whole of seafood industry biotoxin management strategy developed.At the end of that process we will be clear on what will be expected of a new TSQAP manager and hopefully the size and scale of the Program that person is to manage.Howell Williams will be the new TSQAP manager, Howell starts on the 14th October.
We / Government have slightly different views as to what Howell’s priorities might be, where he should be housed and how he interacts with the TSQAP staff.The Government is focused on Biotoxins and the risks they pose to the whole fishing industry.Our shellfish specific view………and lets face it what we’ve been paying for to date is TSQAP’s core operations have suffered with the lack of a full time manager and need to be addressed as a the first mater of priority.
A great deal of lobbying has been done on your behalf by TSEC, TSIC, Oysters Tas and Industry members around the TSQAP budget and broader water quality issues.The outcomes of those efforts:Not all TSQAP specific but intrinsically linked.Far better communication channels with TAS WATER. A commitment from Tas Water to prioritize capital works and maintenance programs around sensitive areas and shellfish harvest zones. The EPA/Sorell Council to look at Lewisham Tavern and surrounds and how the lower Pittwater issues can be tackled.Tas Water/Ben Lomond Water to engage growers/TSQAP in St Helens and a commitment from Tas Water to contribute to monitoring and testing costs in St. Helens. The Initial Tasmanian budget submission for TSQAP was un successful………… Post lobbying, a biotoxin/tsqap specific cabinet submission was successful……… but conditional.
In a letter of the 22nd August from Minister Green to Jon as chair of TSECthe following commitment was made.We are not privy to the specifics of the cabinet submission…………which is a shame as it makes it difficult to dissect the assumptions made and the calculated working of it, however. These figures look to be roundly based on a budget of 2,000,000 for biotoxin management in Tasmania for all seafood sectors.1.2 million of which is being attributed to Bivalve Shellfish thru TSQAP…….. In line the Original budget as presented to the TSQAP management committee for the 13/14 year………… that we didn’t approve.Budget negotiations are ongoing. I can only say at this stage that Industry will not accept 826,000 as being a fair and equitable contribution from bivalve shellfish.These are very big numbers and roll off the tongue far too easily . I realise I’m starting to sound like someone from Government……..and I’m here to help, trust me and all that.But know this. I’ve got multiple licenses, I fully realise the burden that’s likely to be imposed and I know its real dollars and real people that will be effected.The challenge is getting that message across to Government and having it enacted upon.
Further advise from the letter of Minister Green of the 22nd AugustKim Evans has established a steering committee to over sea the implementation of the Safefish Review recommendations for the Seafood IndustryThat Steering Committee is new, but has met.We have requested a copy of its terms of reference and asked for explanation on how it will communicate with industry. We have concerns that the structure as it sits leaves the steering committee insulated to some extent from the TSQAP management committee. We need to make sure the paths of communication are open and flowing.
Initial thoughts are we look at what the TSQAP equivalent programs in the rest of the world do.what component is funded by industry / government. Who manages what aspects of the programs.Who owns the information and what purpose is it put to.The options available to us are unexplored at the moment.We’ve got to come up with a program that adequately protects public health, market access and brand Tasmania……….. While remaining cost reasonable.
Ben I’m sure will be back, but needs to concentrate on Cameron's business in the immediate future, just as Cactus needed to before him.Jon will bring a wise head to the table and give valuable input from a Smithton and Pittwater perspectiveStumpie brings obvious and valuable experience and will serve us well on the steering committee Phil needs special mention. Apart from Spring Bay’s interests he’s shouldered a very large chunk of the work.Every farmer here owes Phil a debt of gratitude. He’s been a passionate advocate for you and your industry in what have been uncertain times.Looking at the names there, five out of the six are once again volunteers. Representing you on issues that now run into millions of dollars.You’ll get me, if you want me for the coming year, no complaints and I’m looking forward to the challenge, but I’ll re evaluate in a year.We’re in for some interesting discussions at this conference on how best achieve industry representation. The burden on your representatives is ever increasing and the stakes are getting higher. The issues are now big enough to warrant someone the likes of. Bob Lister, Dean Lisson, PheroseJungawalla, Adam Main, Neil Stump. A full time executive, paid properly, car and an office. Looking out for your interests full time.
TSQAP - What's Happening - Hayden
The short answer is a hell of a lot.
More than ever before.
We face greater risks to public health and market
access from HAB’s, Water Quality and Changing
International Standards than we have in the past…….
Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB’S)
What I’ll refer to from here as:
“The Safefish Review”.
Its official name is:
Paralytic shellfish toxin event in Tasmania associated
with the dinoflagellate alga Alexandrium Tamarnese.
June 2013. FRDC project no 2012/060
The review is on the FRDC website. READ IT!!!!!!
Initiated from TSQAP management committee
Support from: DPIPWE, DHHS, Multiple industry sectors
groups, individual companies, FRDC, and Safefish/CRC
The cost of last years HAB
From the executive summary of the Safefish Review:
On a direct economic basis the cost of the HAB (harmful
algal bloom) was estimated at $8,620,000 representing
expenditure and revenue impacts across all stakeholders.
On a revenue perspective, marine farming and wild catch
fisheries sector losses, based on reductions in production
With economic value chain multipliers applied, the effect
on marine farmed and wild sector fishers was estimated to
Contributing factors to the “non
compliance event” (product
reaching the market above the
allowable 0.8 mg/kg of pst)
A Breakdown of the Biotoxin Management Plan for bivalve
shellfish in Tasmania
Delay in changeover to fortnightly phytoplankton sampling
Delay in timely water sample analysis at the Tas algal lab
Under staffing and inadequate resourcing at TSQAP
Recommendations of the Safefish
The Review recommendations are targeted at
Government, Regulators, the Seafood Industry and
recreational and Indigenous Fishers.
What that means for US is the Tasmanian Government
is compelled to act on the recommendations of this
It also means that biotoxin management and
regulation in Tasmania (all species) will be developed
closely in line with the recommendations of the
Reform the national framework for
biotoxin management in Australia
(ASQAP), in line with international
Obvious flow down effect to the state programs.
Clinton Wilkinson is the new chair of ASQAAC……
Scheduled meeting for the 23rd October
0-6 Month Recommendations for
Ensure TSQAP is adequately resourced to:
Design and implement an interim biotoxin
Deliver services to the bivalve shellfish sectors covered
by TSQAP to a level that adequately protects public
health at all times
Recommendations for an
Interim Biotoxin Management Plan
Replace phytoplankton testing as the primary
management tool with shellfish flesh testing.
Increase the frequency of testing in line with
Make the labs accountable……. Contracts and KPI’s
Review communication pathways (web based, text
etc… results of lab tests to growers, real time)
LongerTerm Recommendations of
the Safefish Review
Develop a State wide, cross sector/species biotoxin
Prepare a risk based plan that details how to manage
algal blooms and biotoxins not before seen in
Develop a succession plan for TSQAP.
Governments position before, and
its response to the Safefish Review
Governments contribution to TSQAP was capped at 100k………..before biotoxins
and should be considered in light of the new Primary Production Food Safety
Legislation…….. but that’s a story for another day!
With a 100k cap it doesn’t take a smart person to see the direction Government
were pushing TSQAP ………..and what’s likely coming again.
Remember we have an agreement for a 70/30 funding split that the
Government was backing away from.
Alison as TSQAP manager, in light of HAB’s, under staffing at TSQAP and
ICMSS (Sydney) prepared a budget of $1,200,000 for TSQAP ,FY 13/14.
That budget included projected sampling costs of $582,000
Being made up of:
Biotoxin Testing (Sydney Lab) of $358,000.
Algal sampling (AST) $200,000.
Government would not be shifted from 100k contribution
to TSQAP until the Safefish Review was completed
Industry could not responsibly sign off on a 1.1million
industry contribution for 13/14……… but we had to have a
We agreed on an Interim Budget of $711,000
That was to allow for the advertisement and filling of two
scientific officers positions plus a manager.
Industry contribution was $611,288. (86% Industry)
That budget expired 31st August.(TSQAP currently sits with
no approved budget).
A GOOD NEWS SLIDE!!!!!!!
Under the interim budget the positions of two
scientific officers were advertised and filled.
Megan Burgoyne 1st Scientific Officer has started, has
hit the ground running and is doing great work.
Second SO Jason Whitehead is to start Monday.
The Managers Position
With Ali’s departure the TSQAP manager’s position
Candidates were short listed and interviews
Kim Evans (Secretary DPIPWE) called a halt to the
process at the 11th hour.
We were advised that there would be an internal
DPIPWE appointment for 12 months.
Dr. Howell Williams will be the new TSQAP manager,
Howell starts on the 14th October.
Getting TSQAP on Track
We need an immediate works plan that addresses but isn’t
Upcoming Daff audit
Systems document and other non-compliances stemming from
previous Daff audits
Sanitary surveys and updates
Data review (Ray for a couple of weeks)
Lab service and performance contracts.
Sampling catch-up, Annual reports for last year and this year
Interaction with ASQAAC and how to Roll out of recommendations of
Safefish Review both Nationally ad within TSQAP
Sewerage and Virus issues, interactions with Tas Water.
Sampling Plan for St Helens around water quality.
The update of area management plans to reflect changes in risks, both
Microbial and Biotoxin
TSQAP Funding Requests
Under a TSEC initiative, we met with:
Bryan Green, Primary Industry and Water + Tas Water +
Roscoe Taylor, Health + Kerry Vincent, Sorell Mayor + Alex
Shapp director, EPA. over water quality issues and
David Obyrne. Infrastructure and Economic Development.
Brian Wightman. Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
Scott Bacon. Tourism and Finance
Michelle Obyrne. Health
The focus of our discussions was around the damage to the
reputation of Brand Tasmania that recent water quality problems
and HAB’s has done and the need for Government to commit to
TSQAP at a reasonable level.
Commitment from the Tasmanian
Government for 2013/14
$594,000 from government.
Thank you, much appreciated ,a most welcome contribution.
For 12 months only. No commitment to funding thereafter.
$594,000 is for the implementation of the recommendations of
the Safefish Review.
$594,000 is across all sectors ……… its not shellfish or TSQAP
The expectation from Government at this stage is that industry
$826,000 from marine farm bivalve shellfish growers and wild
harvest clam fishers
$560, 000 from wild catch sectors (Abalone, Scallops and Rock
The Process at the moment.
Kim Evans (secretary DPIPWE) has established a steering committee to over sea the
implementation of the Safefish Review recommendations for the Seafood Industry in Tasmania
Lloyd Clump BPID, Chair
Wes Ford, Marine Resources
Roscoe Taylor, Health
Neil Stump, TSIC
Stuart Heggie, DHHS, permanent observer
The Steering Committee has met. One of its first tasks was to establish a second committee
known as the Industry Biotoxin Reference Group.
That group currently comprises:
Phil Lamb, Mussels
Rodney Trelogan, Rock Lobster
Bob Lister, Scallops
Dean Lisson, Abalone
Brian Denny, Wild sector/dive
Neil Stump (Chair)
TSEC representatives (Me) / Justin
Industry Biotoxin Reference Group
The Reference Group is tasked with:
Ensuring industry sector specific requirements are related
to the Steering Committee.
Acting as a sounding board to the new TSQAP manager.
The important bit….. and in line with the Safefish
Manage an industry lead project to assess future
management options for TSQAP beyond 2014
(including biotoxin management).
This means……… SET THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF
Your People on TSQAP
For the coming year your Industry Representatives on
the TSQAP Management Committee will be.
Jon Poke. Replacing Ben Cameron.
Neil Stump, representing the wild sector
Phil Lamb. Mussels
INDUSTRY BIOTOXIN REFERENCE GROUP
Me / Justin Goc, acting as an alternate.
Me again at ASQAAC
The Positives at TSQAP
We’re almost there!
Interim Biotoxin Management Plan is all but done
Others in the World manage similar issues to us as
part of their every day business
TSQAP has very good, capable, competent people
We remain ahead of the other sectors and there’s a
willingness from them to contribute to our program.
We now have the ear of Tas Water.
And in closing … I can tell you oysters fatten bloody
well on Tamarense!