How much is an endangered whale worth? Peak environment group challenges Tassal in today’s Planning Commission hearing

One of Australia’s leading Southern Right Whale experts, Professor Robert Harcourt, will appear in the Tasmanian Planning Commission today, to present evidence on the risks posed by Tassal’s plans to place industrial aquaculture infrastructure in endangered Southern Right Whale calving habitat.

“Professor Harcourt will argue that Tassal’s development poses a significant risk to endangered Southern Right Whales and that the population is so vulnerable that loss of even one mother and calf would be significant,” Ms Kelly says.

“The reality is that no amount of risk mitigation on the part of the company can cancel out the risks of vessel strikes and entanglement in marine debris – that is exactly why the area is currently zoned environmental management.”

“If the Commission allows a weakening of this protection, they will undermine endangered species protection in Tasmanian and give a clear signal that private profits come before conservation of endangered species for our kids,” Ms Kelly says.

Professor Harcourt will be available for comment after his 2.15pm Commission appearance.