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Groom's Refusal to Confirm Salmon Destock After World Heritage Damage

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 13 April 2017

Tags: Fish Farms, World Heritage Area, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Macquarie Harbour, Marine Environment

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Marine Environment spokesperson

In Question Time today, Environment Minister, Matthew Groom, refused to confirm Tassal will meet the EPA deadline of April 15 and have all their fish out of Franklin lease in Macquarie Harbour.

It's been 148 days since Tassal was ordered to begin destocking their lease.  The order followed evidence of severe damage to the World Heritage Area in Macquarie Harbour.

Tassal refused to meet the EPA's first deadline of 28 February. The EPA caved to industry pressure and agreed not to enforce the order until 15 April, despite evidence of damage to the World Heritage Area, which breaches State, National and International law. 

Earlier this year, Minister Groom said he would look at the damage to the TWWHA, but couldn't confirm if the fish and their excrement are still in the water. Today, he made no commitment they'll be gone by the EPA’s second deadline. 

Tassal lost its Aquaculture Stewardship Certification for damage from farming in their Franklin lease in February, and their remaining two leases in Macquarie Harbour last week.

This follows Australian Ethical Investment's divestment of shares in Tassal because they have no faith in the sustainability of the Tasmanian salmon farming industry.

If the State is to have an industry for the long-term, the government must ensure a healthy marine environment. That means destocking the Franklin lease, and protecting World Heritage values.

Minister Groom must confirm the Franklin Lease in Macquarie Harbour has been destocked and damage to the World Heritage Area has ceased.