Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson
The Tasmanian Greens are pleased to hear the acknowledgement by the CEO of Huon Aquaculture, Francis Bender, on ABC Radio 936 that inshore salmon farming is bad for the marine environment, a wedge for local communities, and is damaging its company's reputation.
We welcome Ms Bender's statement that the future for the industry has to be offshore farming.
The rapid expansion of fin-fish farming in the Huon and D'Entrecasteaux rivers has been highly damaging for the health of these waterways. It has also caused substantial heartache for those local residents and tourism operators who have had their lifestyle and recreation affected.
We look forward to hearing Huon Aquaculture's timeframe for moving all their operations offshore, in particular for leaving Macquarie Harbour.
The survival of the Maugean Skate that lives there is highly precarious because of intensive salmon farming and its impact on dissolved oxygen levels in that closed waterbody.
Ms Bender's radio comments represent a challenge to the Government and to other salmon companies. There is no credible argument they can now mount to support the expansion of this industry in inshore areas. Offshore, or on land, are the future of the industry.
The community concern on the East Coast about the proposed expansion of TASSAL into Okehampton Bay is the most recent example of the terrible tension that inshore salmon-farming developments place on local communities.
It is no longer acceptable for this industry to make its own decisions about where they will establish new developments.
Minister Rockliff can have no reason now to continue the farce of a "review" that is being conducted into Okehampton Bay. Huon Aquaculture's statement shows it has no good basis for continuing. He needs to move the regulation of new developments outside his Department, and into an independent statutory body with proper scientific and community scrutiny.