Community horror as EPA renews salmon licences

Communities through the south east of Tasmania have reacted with horror at the renewal of industrial salmon licences in the face of clear scientific evidence of the damage they do to the state's waterways. The announcements were buried away on a Friday to make sure they escaped the immediate attention of the media and the communities affected.

Incredibly, the D'Entrecasteaux Channel has been condemned to another five destructive years by Tassal's huge feedlots that have devastated the marine life of an iconic Australian waterway.

Tassal has also been granted another two-year licence in Long Bay, close to the World Heritage site of Port Arthur, despite clear and independent scientific evidence of its destructive impact on the waterway.

NOFF is committed to legally challenging the decisions to renew the licences along with the renewals for industrial salmon operations in Macquarie Harbour where scientific advisers to the Federal environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, have urged an end to the industry to protect the waterway and the endangered Maugean skate.

"Tasmanians have every right to expect EPA director, Wes Ford, to stand up for them and for the island's marine heritage," says NOFF president, Peter George.
"As a supposedly independent regulator, Mr Ford is supposed to defend us from the ravages of foreign-owned salmon barons and their political friends but instead he caves in to them year after year.
"No right-minded person can have faith in the EPA or its director when decisions like this are made in the face of clear community opposition and scientific evidence. It is a disgrace."

The on-going major die-off of Atlantic salmon in Tassal's Okehampton Bay leases as the marine heatwave hits the east coast should have been a stark warning to Mr Ford that his decisions will bring more environmental destruction and increasing issues of animal welfare in a clearly unsustainable industry.


DATE: Sunday Dec 17

More information:

Peter George: 0426 150 369