Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson
Government documents released today demonstrate that fish farms in Macquarie Harbour are still plagued by water quality problems, despite the government brushing aside concerns aired in parliament and the recent Senate inquiry.
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment discussion paper was released under Right to Information, but details about stocking density in fish farms were deleted.
The deep, cold waters of Macquarie Harbour have been viewed as the Holy Grail of fish farming in Tasmania. This paper shows the harbour has underlying marine conditions that when combined with too many fish, could lead to higher rates of diseases.
The government hiding information about the number of farmed fish in the harbour just raises more questions.
This is the second report to highlight problems in Macquarie Harbour in the past year and the first to identify a new, chronic disease outbreak.
Increased disease rates could be disastrous for the Tasmanian fish farms. It’s up to the government to regulate for optimum environmental conditions for the long-term sustainability of the industry.
The state government must set up an independent examination of Macquarie Harbour conditions, make the findings public and develop a plan.