Federal Environment Minister moves on Maugean skate - but small steps towards averting extinction are not enough
That the Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has accepted her clear legal obligation to review industrial salmon operations in Tasmania's Macquarie Harbour is welcome but is not enough to deal with the clear and present danger of extinction of the Maugean skate.
NOFF president, Peter George, says the science makes clear that salmon operations in the waterway should be halted before summer.
"Marine scientists have made it abundantly clear the 60-million-year-old Maugean skate may not last one more catastrophic event - and that may well be the expected marine heatwave this summer," he says.
"The minister herself has warned "urgent action must be taken" but a long, drawn out consultation is hardly urgent action.
"The salmon industry will no doubt publicly bemoan the review decision but will be secretly relieved it can go on destroying the skate's habitat while bureaucratic processes slowly roll along. What a Christmas present at a major marketing time of the year."
The announcement comes on the same day salmon licences to operate in Tasmanian coastal waters expire.
"The responsibility is in the State government's court to act now and act with integrity by refusing to licence further operations in Macquarie Harbour but, captured as it is by the salmon industry, it's hard to put faith in a government that does nothing but enable this destructive industry."
NOFF advocates the ending of salmon industry licences to operate in public waters or - at the very least - putting the industry on notice that a transition out of state waters must start before licences are finally ended.
Peter George 0426 150 369 email@example.com