Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson
There is widespread community concern about industrial-scale fish farming across Tasmanian public waterways. While the $40,000 fine imposed on Huon Aquaculture is barely a slap on the wrist to a company making tens of millions in profit every year, it should be a warning to the industry.
The salmon industry has massively expanded across publicly-owned waters around the State over the last decade, and they are long overdue to clean up their operations.
The charges laid against Huon Aquaculture reflect an industry that's relentlessly focussed on expanding business, with marine environment protection just a road-block to work around.
This matter should never have ended in court. If government was truly leading, ensuring the community and marine environment are taken care of before corporate profits, salmon producers wouldn’t think they could get away with continuing to pollute.
In the context of rising water temperatures and introduced species, the tonnes of nutrient pollution being added to coastal waterways by salmon farming is an unjustifiable pressure. There are solutions to these archaic practices being employed elsewhere.
A sustainable salmon industry would be one that understands protecting the marine environment is the basis of their business, and would be eager to have rigorous checks and balances.
With this so far from the current reality in Tasmania, the government must introduce tough laws, and a truly independent regulator, to set the rules needed to safeguard our marine waters.