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MEDIA RELEASE: One year passes, no real action taken to save the Maugean Skate


Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the release of the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies' emergency interim report on the plight of the endangered Maugean Skate in Macquarie Harbour.

We, a coalition of 7 organisations, are reuniting to support scientists in again calling for urgent action.

Last year, IMAS scientists interrupted their research program to call for urgent conservation action to stop this unique and endemic species from becoming extinct. The report highlighted that the population had dropped by 47% between 2014 and 2021, and that the monitoring had shown a very worrying drop in reproduction.

The IMAS report led to the establishment of a national recovery team as well as the release of updated Federal conservation advice on the Maugean Skate. The Federal conservation advice recommended that to start protecting the Maugean Skate, removing fish farms from Macquarie Harbour was of the highest priority before the summer of 2023/2024.

This advice has been purposefully ignored, with no removal of any farmed salmon, let alone the required removal of fish farms. Instead, an unproven oxygenation trial has been approved, and some animals have been taken into captivity. Yet the root cause of the problem, industrial salmon farming, remains in the skate’s only habitat.

We call on Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, to immediately remove fish farms from Macquarie Harbour.

James Watts, Save the Skate campaigner, Environment Tasmania said:

"Tasmania’s ‘clean, green’ brand is at risk. As a community, we can’t let the government drag its feet on taking action to protect the Maugean skate from the harmful impacts of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour. Minister Plibersek needs to make the environment her top priority and do everything in her power to save the Maugean skate from extinction. Otherwise, Tasmania’s brand will become one of extinction."

Media Contact: James Watts, Save the Skate campaigner, Environment Tasmania

M: 0438 611 562 E: [email protected]


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