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Big Salmon Ducks Scrutiny on Mass Wildlife Deaths

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Tags: Fish Farms, Seals, Marine Environment, Environment, Native Wildlife

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Details, released under Right to Information today, reveal the incredibly devastating impact of salmon farming on Tasmanian native marine life. 

From 2018 to 2020, Tasmanian fish farm companies reported 8 dolphins and 81 fur seals were killed. Shockingly, of these, only four seals and one dolphin were found to be unrelated to fish farm operations.

Some seals were killed by being directly shot by salmon farm staff with 'bean bags'. Other fur seals, and presumably dolphins, suffered the terrible death of drowning through becoming entangled in fish farm nets. It is cruel, unethical and it will be heartbreaking for many Tasmanians.
The RTI also documented 3,586 'deterrent' devices used against fur seals over this two year period. This includes 134 non-biodegradable 'bean bags', that often maim or blind the animals that survive.

Salmon farming operations are also killing sea birds in Tasmania in large numbers.

Huon Aquaculture, from its Storm Bay Lease in Trumpeter Bay, reported the mass death of 24 cormorants, found entangled in netting, on one single day. This incident raises serious questions about the threat posed to Tasmanian sea birds by the company's so-called ‘fortress pens’, deployed in Storm Bay.

Emails released between the Wildlife Branch of DPIPWE and Huon Aquaculture indicate the Government reduced the level of detail on wildlife interactions that is required to be reported by salmon farmers. 

It's clear the Liberals are providing cover for this industry, and removing scrutiny into its cruel animal welfare practices and environmental impact. 

The salmon industry's self-regulation is inherently flawed, and the EPA is completely missing in action when they are needed most. 

The Liberals' unwavering support for an unsustainable fish farm expansion in public waters is having a devastating effect on our marine wildlife. This wildlife devastation cannot continue.