NOFF deplores salmon subsidies In Macquarie Harbour
NOFF is astonished by a statement issued by Tasmanian senator, Anne Urquhart today that the Tasmanian salmon industry is receiving millions of dollars in subsidies in an effort to restore Macquarie Harbour, despite being the major cause of the collapse of the waterway's health.
Senator Urquart's statement reads in part: "This investment funds Salmon Tasmania to
undertake the oxygenation trial ($4.9m), and the University of Tasmania's
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) ($2.3m) to lead an
independent scientific evaluation of the trial to determine how effective
oxygen remediation in Macquarie Harbour is in assisting with Maugean Skate
Salmon Tasmania's lobbyist, Luke Martin, claims the industry is contributing $4.9 million from a total of $11 million.
"The public has a right to know just how much of their taxes are being ploughed into cleaning up the salmon industry's mess" said NOFF President Peter George.
"The amount is somewhere between $2.3 million and $11 million according to various industry and government announcements.
"It's extraordinary that any public funds at all are being spent to subsidise the culprits who damaged the harbour's health in the first place, driving the 60-million-year-old Maugean skate to the brink of extinction.
"What a Christmas present for the industry lobby group, Salmon Tasmania and its overseas owners whose spokesperson, Luke Martin, has sworn they will 'not concede one single fish or one single job' towards saving the skate or the harbour."
"Federal environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, should be conducting an urgent review of the science that allowed salmon industry expansion more than a decade ago, rather than dragging her feet with the drawn-out, months long review currently underway."
NOFF has previously pointed out that industry proposals to re-oxygenate the water in Macquarie Harbour are disingenuous at best: this may assist the skate, but will also help farmed salmon better survive the adverse impacts of ocean warming. What sounds like industry generosity turns out to be yet another taxpayer subsidy.