Intensive fish farming in coastal areas is one of the greatest threats to Tasmania's marine values. While the industry started small, at just 53 tonnes a year in 1983, it now produces 40,000 tonnes a year and has plans to double production by 2030.
The main reason open pen salmon farming damages the marine environment is because the industry doesn't bother to capture its waste - which just settles on the sea floor and enters the water column. Waste produced by salmon farming includes uneaten fish food, fish faeces and urine and organic matter from net-cleaning.
Environment Tasmania is not against salmon farming, we just want the Government to regulate it properly to make sure fish farms don't go into areas that are high conservation value and can't support the amount of pollution salmon farming leaves in the ocean. Unfortunately, the industry is currently looking to expand into important conservation areas - like Tassie's stunning Sapphire Coast.