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Chilean Algal Blooms Further Evidence of Harms of Fish Farming

26 May 2016

Thursday 26 May 2016

Rosalie Woodruff MP to move—

That the House:—

(1)           Notes the toxic algal bloom that formed along the coast of Chile, the world’s second biggest salmon exporter, has killed 23 million fish and had an economic impact of at least $800 million.

(2)           Understands that:—

(a)           the Chilean algal bloom was fuelled by a similar marine heat wave that occurred off the east coast of Tasmania during the 2015/16 summer, and that these events will occur more frequently as a consequence of global warming;

(b)           algal blooms cause fish deaths to continue after the event as water oxygen is reduced and accumulates neurotoxins; and

(c)           this event underscores the vulnerabilities facing aquaculture in Chile and around the rest of the world.

(3)           Further notes the proposed fin-fish farming expansion by Tassal into the east coast marine environment, commencing with the proposed establishment of 28 new pens at Okehampton Bay, farming over a million fish.

(4)           Acknowledges that despite the Tasmanian east coast experiencing the longest ever recorded marine heat wave, the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP has confirmed his Department has not undertaken any modelling of the impact of climate change on Tassal’s expansion.

(5)           Calls on the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP to instruct the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment to conduct an independent assessment of the impacts of the proposed Okehampton Bay development on the marine environment, the local community, recreational fishing, tourism and existing fisheries in the region.