Environment group demands immediate release of Macquarie Harbour autopsy results

Following today’s revelations of more fish kills in Macquarie Harbour, Environment Tasmania is calling for the immediate release of autopsy results to demonstrate the causes of death of tens of thousands of fish at Petuna, Tassal and Huon leases in Macquarie Harbour.

“Tassal are literally blaming this fish kill on ‘the weather’ and declaring all details commercial in confidence,” says Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania. “This is an insult to the public's intelligence - Tasmanians are fully aware that oxygen levels in Macquarie Harbour have plummeted for years due to overstocking of salmon.”

While Petuna has confirmed it lost 76,000 salmon last month and Huon are acknowledging higher than average loses at rainbow trout leases, Tassal are declaring its fish kill details commercial in confidence. Salmon companies and the EPA have also failed to disclose the causes of death, and the EPA continues to refuse to release its Mass Mortality Plan for Macquarie Harbour, despite documents released in March which stated it could take weeks for salmon companies to retrieve morts.

“Water quality and fish kill details have major biosecurity implications. We have already seen rare diseases, like mycobacteriosis, emerge in Macquarie Harbour because of the degraded growing conditions. The EPA’s refusal to release information on environmental and fish welfare breaches in Macquarie Harbour confirms ongoing concerns about its independence from the Hodgman Government and its election preparations.”

"The EPA has also refused to publicly release its Mass Mortality Plan for Macquarie Harbour, despite documents released earlier this year which stated that it could take weeks for companies to retrieve morts. The public are being kept in the dark about the threats to biosecurity and local tourism the EPA has deemed acceptable," Ms Kelly says.

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