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.
“It is brutally unfair that Tassal have been dumping seals in their neighbour’s backyard rather than invest in seal proofing their pens, but it would be equally unfair to see Tassal given open slather approval to euthanize a protected species.”
“Tassal have said they will take 4 years to upgrade their infrastructure. Their choices are to pay to do this faster, or to commit to not to cull a protected species," Ms Kelly says.
“Given that the ongoing presence of large numbers of hungry seals could pose an OH&S risk to workers, Environment Tasmania is calling on Tassal to invest in an urgent roll out of seal-proof pens – to guarantee a safe environment for their workers and produce a product that doesn’t come at the expense of a protected species,” Ms Kelly says. "This is something the company should have done years ago and it is unacceptable that they will take another 4 years to provide a safe environment for their workers and protected species."