Macquarie Harbour dead zones persist

Environment Tasmania is calling on the Tasmanian EPA to take immediate action to reduce salmon numbers in Macquarie Harbour, following today’s release of the latest research by IMAS showing that marine dead zones and bacteria mats persist at three leases within the Harbour and there has been no recovery of marine life at dead zones in deeper waters of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

“Tassal appear to be the main culprit, with marine dead zones and bacteria mats under pens at their Franklin and Gordon Leases,” says Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania. “The presence of zero marine life and oxygen levels below 2 mg/litre at Tassal’s Gordon lease, clearly shows that Tassal’s ‘waste traps’ aren’t working. These leases are in breach of regulation and need to be emptied urgently.”

"With Tassal’s dead zones persisting, there is no justification for Premier Hodgman's decision to allow Tassal to stock 4000 tonnes of salmon over the legal limit. The special treatment has to end."

“The IMAS report also shows beggiatoa bacteria mats at Lease 5 – so whilst Tassal’s leases are the worst performing, Petuna are also implicated,” Ms Kelly said.

“The fact that dead zones in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area have not recovered means the Tasmanian Government must act to reduce salmon numbers, or be responsible for further damage to the waterway, federally protected endangered species and Brand Tasmania,” Ms Kelly says.

The full IMAS report can be accessed here