Peak environment group accuses Tassal of breaking the rules in sustainability audit for controversial Okehampton Bay operations

Tasmanian fishing, community and environment groups have lodged a letter of complaint with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), in the belief that Tassal, Australia’s largest salmon company, is breaching ASC standards in an effort to secure a green tick for its controversial Okehampton Bay operations on Tasmania’s east coast.

Tassal have pushed for an ASC audit of the company’s Okehampton Bay farm, despite the farm being in operation for under 12 months. The groups believe this breaches the ASC requirement that no farm is assessed prior to 18 months of operations or a full harvest cycle, to ensure the full impacts on the environment of a salmon growth cycle can be observed by auditors. Despite smolt going in at Okehampton Bay in August of last year, and the site only being stocked at half capacity in 2017, Tassal’s Okehampton Bay ASC assessment is happening now, with a community meeting to be held in Triabunna tomorrow, July 31st at 5.30pm.

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Morts pit revelations: Peak environment group demands release of mass mortality plan for Macquarie Harbour.

Environment Tasmania has again raised its concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding Macquarie Harbour fish kills, after today’s statement by West Coast Mayor Phil Vickers that Council has not been consulted on salmon industry plans to construct a new morts pit for dead salmon from its Macquarie Harbour operations.

“Government actively concealed the fact that 1.35 million salmon died in Macquarie Harbour over summer - a fact the public only discovered after a leak to media,” says Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania.

 

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Salmon giants win approval to dump on the 1st signs of life in Macquarie Harbour

Media Release

17/07/18

Tassal, Petuna approved to dump on the 1st signs of life in the most damaged parts of Macquarie Harbour

Tasmania’s peak environment group has questioned today’s decision by Environment Minister, Elise Archer, to allow Tassal and Petuna to restock the largest salmon leases in Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania’s most controversial salmon farming region. Known as the ‘Franklin lease’, the 120 hectare area was emptied in April 2017 due to the presence of faecal mounds, bacteria mats and the death of marine life under salmon pens.  

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More information leaks on Tasmanian mass fish kills prompts demands for Government reporting

Media release

5/07/18

Tasmania's peak environment group has released an image of a morts bin from industrial salmon farms in Tasmania’s South East, as more community reports come in of a mass fish kill related to the PMOV virus.

 “We have received an image of a morts bin and reports of increasingly steady salmon deaths over the last month in the state’s south east, with 20,000-30,000 deaths at one farm alone,” says Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania.

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Latest science: marine life continues to flatline in Macquarie Harbour

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Media release

2/07/18

Latest science: marine life continues to flatline in Macquarie Harbour

Today the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) released their latest report on the health of Macquarie Harbour, one of Tasmania’s most controversial salmon farming regions, which has been plagued with marine dead zones and mass fish kills since 2015.

“This report shows no recovery in marine life at salmon farm leases or in our World Heritage Area, in fact dead zones have worsened at southern leases compared to the last survey,” says Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania. “Add to this the 1.35 million salmon that died from disease and poor growing conditions over summer, and it’s impossible to fathom why Macquarie Harbour has not been emptied.”

 

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Macquarie Harbour disaster: 1.35 million morts on Premier Hodgman’s hands

Media release

29/05/19

Today the Director of the Tasmanian EPA confirmed 1.35 MILLION salmon were killed in Tasmania’s major West Coast farming region, Macquarie Harbour, between October 2017 and March 2018. Over two thousand Environment Tasmania supporters have petitioned salmon companies for release of this information, which no salmon company would reveal and which the Hodgman Government concealed in the lead up to the March 2018 state election.

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Tassal, Petuna announcement conceals key details on the biosecurity threat in Macquarie Harbour

Media Release

17/05/18

Today’s announcement by salmon giants Tassal and Petuna of a ‘joint management venture’ that will set an ‘industry first benchmark for biosecurity’ leaves crucial questions unanswered, according to Environment Tasmania, the state’s peak environment group.

“The level of spin in this announcement has been trying. What the companies have failed to disclose is the seriousness of the POMV situation in Macquarie Harbour, the details of mass fish kills and the amount that each company’s operations will be scaled down compared to previous years operations” says Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania.

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Are you our new Strategy Director?

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We need a mature leader to guide Tasmania’s premier marine protection campaign. Tassie is a global ocean warming hotspot. Scientist predict invasive species will decimate our east coast reefs by 2050 and industrial salmon farming, already Australia’s largest fishery, has bipartisan support to double in size by 2030.

Environment Tasmania is the state’s peak conservation council. We support 18 member groups and run campaigns that deliver real outcomes for Tasmania – like the 172,000 hectare extension to the Wilderness World Heritage Area delivered in 2013 and the retreat of two super trawlers from Australian waters. Our current focus is on introducing transparency and accountability to the industrial salmon farming industry and delivering a scientifically sound network of marine protected areas within the next five years.

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National and state laws fail, Tassal’s threat to endangered whales approved

Today the Federal Court and The Tasmanian Planning Commission, in two separate decisions, rejected appeals to protect endangered Southern Right Whales by moving Tassal’s industrial salmon farm out of their calving habitat.

“Australia is facing an extinction crisis – with the highest rate of mammalian extinction in the world. Today’s apparently unrelated decisions by the Tasmanian Planning Commission and Federal Court to allow Tassal to threaten endangered whales provides a stellar example of why this is happening,” says Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania.

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New science shows World Heritage dead zones persist in Macquarie Harbour

The State’s peak environment group has expressed its serious concern about today’s announcement by the Tasmania Government that only minor cuts will be made to salmon numbers in Macquarie Harbour. The EPA has announced that a minimum of 9,500 thousand tonnes of salmon will remain in Macquarie Harbour, despite the release of the latest report by the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies which shows low oxygen levels and marine dead zones persist in Macquarie Harbour’s World Heritage Area.

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