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Look Below the Waves on Threatened Species Day

7 Sep 2016

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Tasmania is known for giant kelp forests and seagrass meadows. State waters have supported the highest known marine plant variety in the world, but recent research shows a sharp decline in biodiversity.

Much of Tasmania's distinctive wildlife below the waves is now officially threatened, at risk from overfishing, farming, pollution, and climate change. Divers on the East Coast report they no longer see strands of our once mighty giant kelp forests.

Tasmania is the home of the Maugean Skate, a graceful creature that lives only in tannin rich waters of Macquarie and Bathurst Harbour.

The Maugean Skate is being menaced by intensive fish farm practices. It’s at risk of becoming the Thylacine of the sea. 

Most people don’t realise how close we are to losing our unique Tasmanian marine life.

On Threatened Species Day, the government must commit to protecting the Maugean Skate from extinction. The only way to prevent it being lost forever is to make environmental protection the top priority of fish farm activities.  

Currently, the Minister for Primary Industries is the salmon industry promoter and regulator. To protect threatened species, these roles have to be separated, and priority put on environmental values.

When it comes to threatened species, we don't get a second chance.

The Liberals must do threatened species, marine biodiversity, and industry a favour and independently assesses the triple-bottom line impacts of fish farming activities.