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Greens Launch Plan to Clean Up Fish Farming

11 Feb 2018

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Marine Environment spokesperson

Tasmanian salmon farming is operating at an industrial scale, and is planning to double in size. Both Labor and the Liberals have allowed the companies to write their own rules and expansion plans for a great carve up of public waterways. 

The consequences of the rapid expansion of fish farms on the marine environment and the community has been disastrous.

Estuaries and harbours have been hit with water pollution from thousands of tonnes of fish faeces, coastal communities live with noise and light pollution, waterways are congested with large fish pens, local fisheries are degraded and Tasmania’s clean green brand compromised.

Coastal communities, conservationists, surfers, recreational fishers, tourism and fishing businesses who share Tasmania’s public waters have been told where fish farms will go – not asked. 

Massive expansions underway in Storm Bay, Okehampton Bay, King Island and Circular Head have left locals and other fishers reeling. The Liberals' refusal to listen to any voice other than the three salmon companies - backed in by Labor - have left communities in despair.

The Greens' plan to clean up fish farming includes an immediate moratorium on all finfish exploration and expansion activities around State waterways. The current system is written by industry for industry, and until we get that right, and give the public a say, we need to halt fish farm expansion.

The Greens' plan also includes legislating to place fish farm development within the planning scheme, to give all users and affected communities a formal legal say about the social impacts of fish farming in our public, shared waters.

We would protect the marine environment and all users by creating bioregional plans, based on full community consultation and scientific evidence. Environmental regulations that account for ecosystem impacts would be created, and enforced through a rigorous formal environmental license.

We would end the practice of seal relocations, and place a levy on fish farm companies to increase the ability of the EPA and MAST to monitor and enforce penalties for breaches, including for marine debris. 

If we want our harbours, channels and bays protected for future generations, we have to protect the marine environment. Without giving the community a say and protecting the biodiversity that underpins a healthy industry, the fish farms and the jobs they offer aren’t sustainable into the future.

Labor and the Liberals are cheering on the salmon industry’s expansion at all costs, and the Jacqui Lambie Network is backing industry over the environment and coastal communities. Only the Greens have a plan that will protect our marine environment and return the power given to the salmon farming industry, to the hands of the Tasmanian people.