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Government Must Respond to Scourge of Fish Farm Debris

3 May 2017
Rosalie Woodruff MP

Ms Woodruff to move—That the House:—


(1) Notes that in addition to the waste feed and fish faeces polluting the marine
environment, which remains largely out of sight, fish farms are creating significant
quantities of marine debris.


(2) Recognises that storms, accidents, human error and carelessness results in fish
farming equipment being lost or abandoned, and these often linger for years in
waterways and wash up on beaches.


(3) Understands that a number of clean-ups in Macquarie Harbour and the Channel
region have resulted in the recovery of large amounts of fish farm debris including
ropes, feed bags, plastic buoys and large sections of poly pipe, often too heavy to
remove.


(4) Further notes that on 28 April 2017 the Greens received an email from a concerned
yachty of an enormous circular structure made of poly pipe towering approximately 3
meters above the water in Snake Bay.


(5) Further understands fish farm debris is both polluting our waterways, and present a
serious safety risk to waterway users.


(6) Further notes the warning from the General Manager of Marine Safety Tasmania that
a boat user will be killed if Tasmania’s aquaculture companies do not remove
floating debris in waterways, after a boat struck a 150m long poly pipe that had been
dislodged from a salmon farm operated by Tassal near Dover in 2016.


(7) Acknowledges that recreational fishers, sailors, and community groups are
increasingly frustrated with the inability to hold the fish farms to account for their
debris, with reports to MAST, the EPA and DPIPWE not resulting in any credible
action.


(8) Calls on the Government to protect boat users, our waterways and beaches from the
scourge of fish farm marine debris through legislative changes to hold fish farming
companies to account, backed by funding of bodies tasked with enforcing those rules.
(3 May 2017)