Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Marine Environment spokesperson
The Environment Protection Authority’s announcement they will be increasing monitoring of intensive salmon farming impacts in the clear waters of Okehampton Bay will be no solace for East Coast residents. It does nothing to solve the basic problem that the pens are in the wrong place.
The EPA’s proposed monitoring is too little and too late. The minor addition of an extra video pass across the seafloor will not mitigate the impacts of 800,000 fish on local marine life, the Mercury Passage, community activities or tourism and maritime businesses.
This intensive fish farming industry, operating in public waters, has never sought or received community support. The East Coast community will not accept it.
Both Labor and the Liberals have failed to effectively regulate the salmon industry. They both support an unsustainable Growth Plan that sacrifices community and stakeholder concerns to the unrestrained growth of salmon farming.
Liberal MPs have begun desperately trying to distance themselves from their own disastrous management of the salmon industry. Their proposed North West expansion, without consultation with local fishermen, is a direct copy of the expansion to the East Coast.
It is all about throwing a lifeline to companies that have severely damaged Macquarie Harbour and which need more real estate. Neither Labor or the Liberals have considered impact on the marine environment, or the community’s wishes.
All Tasmanians deserve to have a say about if, where and how this salmon industry expands.
The future of the industry, and the marine environment it supports, has to be based on independent science and a genuine conversation with communities and other stakeholders.