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Marine Farming Concerns Grow

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Tags: Fish Farms, Marine Environment

The Greens today formally moved in the House of Assembly for there to be an immediate moratorium placed on any new, or expansion of current, marine farming licences, while an investigation into fish farm impacts is conducted.

“Given the latest controversy surrounding the impact current salmon farms are having on other fisheries and the environment, clearly the responsible course of action is to place an immediate moratorium on any new, or extension to, fish farm licences while an independent investigation is conducted,” Mr Booth said.

“The Greens also want to see marine farming brought back under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act, which allows for greater community involvement in the assessment processes, including right of appeals.”

“Other stakeholders, including abalone divers, and mussel farm operators have raised serious and alarming concerns about the adverse impacts of fish farms based on their first hand experience.”

“There are growing concerns that the current assessment and management regime around sea-based fish farms is woefully inadequate.”

“This risks Tasmania’s hard-earned clean, green Brand, risks the health of our public waterways and the viability of other recreational and commercial fisheries, including the salmon industry itself.”

“Tasmania cannot afford to keep turning a blind-eye to these serious economic and environmental risks,” Mr Booth said.

Text of Motion Tabled by Greens Leader Kim Booth MP:

That this House:

  1. Notes the growing concerns both within the marine farming industry, other fisheries and the community, about the impacts that marine farming is having in our public waterways including Macquarie Harbour, Tasman Peninsula, the Huon and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel;

  2. Notes with grave concern public allegations that current salmon farming practices has impacted upon the local abalone fishing industry as well as causing at least one mussel farm to close;

  3. Acknowledges long held concerns that authorities are consistently failing to address concerns about the impacts of nutrients on other marine species as well as odour and other pollution concerns;

  4. Notes that this year alone there have been six extensions to salmon farms approved despite growing industry and community concerns;

  5. Agrees there is a serious case to be investigated that there appears to be a systemic failure in the current assessment and management of sea-based salmon farms in Tasmanian waterways;

  6. Calls on the Minister to:

  1. Institute an immediate moratorium on the approvals of any further new or extensions to, sea-based salmon farm licences;

  2. Commission an independent investigation into the current practices, assessment, management and impacts upon the environment and other fisheries of marine farming is conducted; and

  3. Immediately undertake a legislative review to bring marine farming under the Land Use Planning and Approval Act 1993.