ET demands Tassal rule out a cull of protected seals

Tasmania’s peak environment group has welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s move to ban salmon companies from relocating seals beyond their leases, but is calling for a clear commitment from Tassal and the Hodgman Government that this won’t lead to an increase in seal euthanizations.

“Government should have moved years ago to stop this harmful practice so we welcome the ban. But does this mean Tassal will speed-up investment in seal proofing their pens? If not then the company needs to make a clear, public commitment that it won’t be culling protected fur seals,” says Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania.

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David versus Goliath: Tasmanian environment groups demand an end to salmon certifier's conflict of interest

Today Environment Tasmania will release an open letter signed by seventeen local environment groups, demanding an end to conflicts of interest within the so-called independent Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certification scheme for salmon.

In a David versus Goliath battle, these small environment groups are demanding that the global environment group, WWF, cease taking up to $500,000 a year from Tassal, the largest salmon company in Australia.

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New Audit: Tassal and the ASC out of oxygen in Macquarie Harbour

An ASC Audit on Tassal’s Macquarie Harbour operations, released today, has found Tassal have failed to meet the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s minimum standards for oxygen provision to fish and the environment for the third consecutive year. Despite this, Tassal’s auditors, SCS Global, have recommended that Tassal retain its best-practice, ASC certification. In response, Environment Tasmania is calling on the ASC to end direct payments of auditors by companies, and for the conservation group WWF to remove itself from the ASC Board, due to a financial conflict of interests that is threatening the integrity of the ASC system.

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Tassal profits come at a cost of soaring antibiotic use and environmental damage

Tasmania’s peak environment group has raised concerns that salmon company Tassal’s annual profits, reported today, come at the price of decreased fish quality and increasing environmental harm around Tasmania’s coasts.

“Tassal’s reported increase in fish growth occurred in the same year the company increased its antibiotic use by 75 per cent in total and 50 per cent per tonne of fish,” said Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania. “With the rise of super bugs, the obvious question is whether Tassal’s increased profit has come at the expense of increased health risk and a decrease in product quality.”

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Broad coalition slams Hodgman’s salmon growth plan

A broad coalition of representatives from all sides of politics, Tasmania’s wild fishing, recreational fishing, tourism and conservation sectors gathered on parliament lawns today to condemn the Hodgman Government’s failure to consult on its salmon industry growth plan.

The coalition demanded both major parties agree to a moratorium on lease allocation until governance problems in the industry are addressed. Leaders from diverse sectors of industry and the community stressed that the Hodgman Government's failure to consult on the current industry expansion plan has only exacerbated the conflict plaguing the industry. So-called 'no go zones' are limited to areas where it isn't viable to grow salmon, whilst areas where the salmon industry has an interest, including Okehampton Bay, Recherche Bay, Norfolk Bay, Cape Pillar and all around iconic Bruny Island, can be developed with no requirement for community consultation and no right of appeal.

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Premier Hodgman fishes for credibility on salmon

Tasmania’s peak environment group has questioned the value of so called ‘no go’ zones for salmon farming announced today by the Hodgman Government.

“This is a sham announcement that marks ‘no go zones’ in areas which were never suitable for salmon farming in the first place, but does nothing to address the actual points of conflict in the industry, like Macquarie Harbour and Okehampton Bay, where 48% of Tasmanians don’t want salmon farming but Tassal has walked away with everything that it wants," said Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania.

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Michelin-star chef, wine and tourism leaders join Okehampton Bay Vigil

A Michelin-star chef and Tasmania’s largest abalone mothership are steaming up the east coast today, to support fisherman Chris Massie’s two-week occupation of Okehampton Bay. They will be joined by oyster farmer and elder of Tasmanian wild fisheries, Des Whayman, as two of Tasmania’s leading east coast vineyard owners join Mr Massie in raising their concerns about Tassal’s plans to industrialise Okehampton Bay.

The protest grows a day after Tassal received EPBC approval to proceed with the development, despite threats to endangered Southern Right Whales.

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'A serious threat to endangered whales': lead environment group questions Tassal’s EPBC permit

Tasmania’s peak environment group today expressed serious concerns regarding the Commonwealth Government’s decision to allocate Tassal an EPBC permit for the company’s controversial plan to industrialise endangered whale calving habitat on Tasmania’s east coast.

“This decision shows that our environment laws are broken. Any Tasmanian that wants their children to grow up in a world where there are whales should be dismayed by this decision, which shows the Liberal Government has learnt nothing from the disaster and subsequent legal battles over Macquarie Harbour,” says Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania.

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Don’t zone Tassie’s east coast industrial

Tasmania’s peak environment group will be attending the meeting of Glamorgan Spring Bay Council tonight to object to an application by salmon farming giant, Tassal, to have endangered whale calving habitat on Tasmania’s east coast zoned industrial.

6000 Environment Tasmania supporters have written to Council objecting to rezoning of ‘Environmental Management’ and ‘Public Reserve’ land and water, to ‘light industrial’ zoning with a variation to allow for industrial aquaculture operations.

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New polling: Salmon governance failure bites for Hodgman

New polling by Reachtel released today shows significant community concerns about outdated salmon farming practices and the influence of big salmon companies over the Hodgman Liberal Government in Tasmania.

“More than half of voters in Lyons are saying the salmon industry is risking jobs by not upgrading their infrastructure and getting offshore,” says Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania, “this reflects what we are hearing out in the community – everyone knows how important salmon is for Tassie, but they can’t understand why the industry doesn’t just use some of their ample profits to modernise and get offshore.”

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