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Government Must Respond to Scourge of Fish Farm Debris


Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Tags: Fish Farms

Ms Woodruff to move—That the House:—

(1) Notes that in addition to the waste feed and fish faeces polluting the marine environment, which remains largely out of sight, fish farms are creating significant quantities of marine debris.

(2) Recognises that storms, accidents, human error and carelessness results in fish farming equipment being lost or abandoned, and these often linger for years in waterways and wash up on beaches.

(3) Understands that a number of clean-ups in Macquarie Harbour and the Channel region have resulted in the recovery of large amounts of fish farm debris including ropes, feed bags, plastic buoys and large sections of poly pipe, often too heavy to remove.

(4) Further notes that on 28 April 2017 the Greens received an email from a concerned yachty of an enormous circular structure made of poly pipe towering approximately 3 meters above the water in Snake Bay.

(5) Further understands fish farm debris is both polluting our waterways, and present a serious safety risk to waterway users.

(6) Further notes the warning from the General Manager of Marine Safety Tasmania that a boat user will be killed if Tasmania’s aquaculture companies do not remove floating debris in waterways, after a boat struck a 150m long poly pipe that had been dislodged from a salmon farm operated by Tassal near Dover in 2016.

(7) Acknowledges that recreational fishers, sailors, and community groups are increasingly frustrated with the inability to hold the fish farms to account for their debris, with reports to MAST, the EPA and DPIPWE not resulting in any credible action.

(8) Calls on the Government to protect boat users, our waterways and beaches from the scourge of fish farm marine debris through legislative changes to hold fish farming companies to account, backed by funding of bodies tasked with enforcing those rules.