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Pressure Mounting on Macquarie Harbour Industrial Fish Farms

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 26 July 2023

Tags: Fish Farms, Macquarie Harbour

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Acting Greens Leader

Tasmanians watching with dismay and outrage as the Maugean skate is pushed to extinction by salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour will be heartened to hear that pressure is mounting for the industry’s Best Aquaculture Practice label to be axed.

Tasmania’s salmon industry has long falsely marketed its unsustainable operations as “clean, green and pristine”. The reality of salmon farming’s permanent damage to marine life and ecosystems in Macquarie Harbour, including parts of the World Heritage Area, has still not successfully permeated to its broad consumer audience.

Continued greenwash certification of salmon farming in Tasmania is a huge problem.

The scientific evidence is clear: salmon farming is the key threat to the Maugean skate, which only lives in Macquarie Harbour. The latest predictions for the survival of this ancient animal is that just one warm summer could drive it extinction.

With apparent disinclination by state and federal governments to act and immediately end fish farming in the Harbour, it’s not surprising communities who care deeply about our sea life have turned to marine accreditation organisations for help.

International salmon corporations who farm in Tasmania can wave around the money they’ve spent on research, but it’s meaningless unless they act on its findings. With a Liberal government mindlessly determined to support industry expansion, we’re seeing companies’ drive for salmon profits truping the survival of natural wonders like the Maugean skate every time.

Mainland consumers should have the right to know what they’re buying and eating. It’s long past acceptable for companies to pretend there’s a healthy thriving marine environment producing the salmon that consumers put in their mouth.

If the Liberals are serious about maintaining a sustainable fish farm industry, and keeping labelling that claims this, they will read the room and announce an end to salmon farming operations in Macquarie Harbour by this summer.