Farming salmon in Macquarie Harbour has highlighted a number of challenges over the years. The purpose of this project was to better understand the response of the environment to salmon farming by exploring the response of an environmental indicator (Dorvilleid polychaetes) to farming in the harbour.
In the first part of the study, the international literature was reviewed to establish the current state of understanding regarding Dorvilleid ecology, and in particular, how they respond to organic enrichment. The second part of the study comprised a targeted field survey at selected leases to identify the relationship between Dorvilleids and sediment condition, and to characterise the environmental conditions associated with major changes in Dorvilleid distribution and abundance. The results were compared with previous surveys (including baseline surveys undertaken throughout the harbour) to investigate whether there have been any broad scale changes in the benthic ecology. The findings are discussed in the context of benthic monitoring requirements for fish farm management in Macquarie Harbour within the project report: Understanding the ecology of Dorvilleid polychaetes in Macquarie Harbour.