Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Energy and Environment spokesperson
The huge environmental harm caused by fish farming in Macquarie Harbour should be fixed by the industry that caused the problems. There are huge questions about why Hydro Tasmania appears to have agreed to help multi-national corporations avoid their basic environmental responsibility.
Before questioning from the Greens was shut down by the Liberals in GBE Estimates, Hydro confirmed it is joining a committee run by fish farm growers. Hydro also revealed it is looking to help the salmon industry fix low dissolved oxygen levels in Macquarie Harbour.
Macquarie Harbour is a sensitive ecosystem, and persistent low dissolved oxygen levels are a real concern. This is a problem, however, that is being entirely caused by overstocking of the harbour’s fish farms.
It should be the multi-national corporations who own and profit from the salmon farms to clean up their own mess, not a publicly-owned GBE.
Industry could immediately improve the dissolved oxygen levels by scaling back the harbour’s salmon biomass.
If Hydro agree to release extra fresh water flows into Macquarie Harbour to improve the farming conditions for fish farmers, it would set a dangerous precedent.
Why should a state-owned company help absolve this stained industry of their environmental responsibilities – or, worse, help prop up their profits? It’s unjustifiable on both moral and public interest levels.
No doubt big salmon will try and convince Hydro their involvement is required to help protect the threatened maugean skate. It was the industry that put this unique species at risk, and it’s them who should fix it.
Hydro have no business in the salmon industry. Hydro Tasmania should tell big salmon to reset oxygen levels themselves by reducing fish stocks.