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Fish Farm Concerns

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Monday, 23 March 2015

Tags: Recreational Fishing, Fish Farms

The Hodgman government must intervene and call a halt to any salmon farming expansion until all other commercial, recreational fishing and environmental concerns can be properly addressed, Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.

“The latest controversy, which has seen abalone and mussel industry players allege that fish farming in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel has damaged their businesses, highlights it is past time that the assessment of fish farms must be brought back under the normal planning regime,” Mr Booth said.

“The Greens are calling for marine farming to be brought back under the Land Use Planning Approvals Act,  disallow any further expansion of sea based fish farms be halted, and current farms to be required to cease the discharge of untreated fish waste into Tasmanian waters before any further new or expanded permits be considered.”

“Tassal’s planned expansion into the southern channel is deeply disturbing, and the government must stand up and say enough is enough and no expansion of fish farms will be allowed.”

“Both the abalone industry and mussel farms are expressing serious alarm, citing evidence of falling production and environmental harm to the ocean’s ecology.”

“These serious concerns must be independently investigated before a single licence is granted to expand an industry that is already under a cloud.”

“These concerns also highlight why the assessment needs to go back under LUPAA to ensure these matters are all properly addressed.”

“Penning thousands of fish and using the ocean to clean up the mess might look ok from above the water, however underneath it is a grim picture with marine fish farms conveniently using the ocean as a dumping ground for fish manure, urine and uneaten feed, amounting to tens of thousands of tonnes per annum.”

“To approve any expansion would be reckless and no different than a pig farmer applying to have huge floating piggeries located in the channel or Macquarie Harbour.”

“No town, dairy farm, piggery or industrial complex would be allowed to discharge untreated waste into public waterways and it is way past time that the government acted in the public interest rather than protecting the profits of their corporate mates.”

“The pristine waterways of Tasmania are not some giant septic tank for corporations to dump their waste.”

“They are an intrinsic part of Tasmania’s clean, green brand, they provide recreation and food for many families and must be protected for generations to come.”

‘Make no mistake, unless serious action is taken to address the impacts of current marine farming practices Tasmania’s brand and reputation as a clean green food producer is at risk and other industries and the community will also suffer,” Mr Booth said.