Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Marine Environment spokesperson
Australian Ethical Investment's divestment from Tassal is a slap in the face to the sustainability brand of the Tasmanian farmed salmon industry. It's evidence that investors have no confidence in this severely under-regulated industry.
Minister Rockliff has to step in immediately to restore investor confidence by regulating the salmon industry for long-term environmental conservation, transparency and accountability.
Minister Rockliff continues to perpetuate the myth that our farmed salmon industry regulations are “world’s best practice”. This is dishonest, and does nothing to protect the industry’s reputation, and the jobs that go with it.
The divestment in Tassal by the ethical superannuation fund is confirmation of widely held concerns about current farmed salmon operations, and their sustainability for the long-term.
Dr Stuart Palmer, AEI’s Head of Ethics Research, confirmed on ABC radio that they would need to assess the regulatory conditions in Tasmania and impacts on local environment before they considered reinvesting in Tassal.
AEI's main reasons for their action were an unsustainable farmed salmon feed supply that's still based on wild fish, and a salmon farming sector not on track to meaningfully reduce this dependence.
Other concerns included farming impacts on Macquarie Harbour and elsewhere in Tasmania, and the current legal proceedings against the EPA.
This government's mismanagement of salmon farming has cost the industry the trust of investment firms and the Tasmanian public.
For long-term salmon industry sustainability, you need a healthy environment. The only way to ensure that's the case is by setting strong and fair rules.