An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia

WWF support Tassal's destructive salmon farming operations. Help us let them know what's happening on the ground here in Tasmania - undersign our letter to their board.

President Mr Robert Purves
WWF Australia
1 Smail Street
NSW 2007

cc Mr Dermot O’Gorman, CEO WWF Australia

April 2017

Dear Mr Purves

An open letter regarding WWF's support of Tassal's destructive salmon operations

We, the undersigned, write to urge you to cease immediately your support of Tassal and its destructive salmon farming practices in the place we love, Tasmania.

Tassal has turned their largest lease in Macquarie Harbour into what scientists call a marine dead zone. The harbour is the outlet to the famous Franklin-Gordon river system and it was recently revealed that the dead zone from Tassal’s lease has spread into Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which we are responsible for protecting for future generations.

This dead zone, creeping into the World Heritage Area, is putting at risk the very existence of the Maugean Skate, a prehistoric species found only in Tasmania. Like the World Heritage Area, the Skate is meant to be protected, but scientists estimate there are only 3000 individual skates left. They’re calling it the ‘thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) of the sea’.

WWF does crucial work globally, but this time, you have got the balance wrong. Signing off on World Heritage damage and the extinction of a protected species is further than any environment group should go in a corporate partnership. You are making it harder for people who actually live in or love Tasmania to protect it. Tassal’s damage is not contained to Macquarie Harbour. A media investigation recently discovered Tassal were illegally holding protected fur seals. We know Tassal kill seals too, but they refuse to disclose how many.

We know that WWF takes up to $500,000 a year in direct payments from Tassal. We’re worried this creates a conflict of interest that is influencing your decision to support their outdated inshore farming methods, which the company is about to expand onto Tasmania’s stunning east coast.

WWF’s panda does not belong on Tassal packaging and your financial relationship makes it look like Tassal are simply buying kudos from a far-away international charity who could not possibly know what is happening on the ground. Your endorsement has to end. Please, for Tasmania’s marine ecosystem, withdraw from your endorsement and cease your financial relationship with Tassal.

We know you have no office or staff in Tasmania, so we invite you to come here and meet with us, to take a tour of our damaged World Heritage Area, to meet with experts on the endangered Maugean Skate and the communities working to protect their backyards from the destructive practices you endorse.


Jodie Epper
Chair, Environment Tasmania

Who's signing

Brett Duggan
Marianne Kohler-Maetz
Mark Duncan
John Rokas
Elizabeth Conlan
Jacqui Crisp
Phil Bywater
Ruth Barker
Laurell Brown
Anne Booth
Carol Rea
Michael Aitchison
2,930 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 2726 reactions

  • Jeffrey Miller
    signed via 2018-10-23 08:49:45 +1100
  • Ronda Weidmann
    signed via 2018-10-19 11:54:23 +1100
    I support Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection about this issue
  • Denise Kerr
    signed via 2018-10-19 06:27:37 +1100
  • Scott Coleman
    signed via 2018-10-19 03:32:46 +1100
  • Karla Willis
    signed via 2018-10-18 18:03:21 +1100
    The environmental damage done to Macquarie Harbour is shameful. Please remove your support for TASSAL and any other current Tasmanian salmon farming.
  • Brett Duggan
    signed via 2018-10-18 12:27:35 +1100
  • pam blunt
    signed via 2018-10-18 12:07:52 +1100
  • Kim Crawford
    signed via 2018-10-18 12:04:09 +1100
  • Pam Watkins
    signed via 2018-10-18 10:30:29 +1100
    Hoping that the Salmon industry will ‘clean up their act’ because the WWF are permitting them to use their logo is farcical. No doubt the half a million they are paying you will ease the pain.
  • Eat My Vagina
    signed 2018-10-08 19:28:51 +1100
  • Marianne Kohler-Maetz
    signed 2018-09-26 21:55:56 +1000
  • Mark Duncan
    signed 2018-09-26 17:18:43 +1000
  • John Rokas
    signed 2018-09-26 15:27:30 +1000
  • Suzanne Louden
    signed via 2018-08-05 21:16:23 +1000
  • Kay Birkinshaw
    signed 2018-07-20 00:07:25 +1000
  • Jaye Hanson
    signed 2018-07-08 18:01:46 +1000
    The WWF has lost all credibility. Bought and owned
  • Chris Chavasse
    signed 2018-06-01 10:44:43 +1000
    I am disgusted that WWF is allowing its brand to support the greewashing of Tassal!

    It is evident that the massive overstocking of salmon farms in Macquarie Harbour is unsustainable & a danger to the the biodiversity of the region.

    Please re-evaluate your support for Tassal & withdraw it.
  • Darren Noyes-Brown
    signed 2018-04-29 07:50:58 +1000
  • Elizabeth Conlan
    signed 2018-03-22 15:27:03 +1100
  • Jacqui Crisp
    posted about this on Facebook 2018-03-18 16:52:55 +1100
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • Jacqui Crisp
    signed via 2018-03-18 16:52:30 +1100
  • Phil Bywater
    signed 2018-01-17 20:13:07 +1100
  • Ruth Barker
    signed 2017-12-13 13:39:06 +1100
    This matter has prompted me to reconsider my financial support for WWF.
  • Laurell Brown
    signed 2017-10-04 17:50:22 +1100
  • Jean Taylor
    signed 2017-10-03 19:59:38 +1100
    Signing on behalf of and with permission of the members of the Friends of Coningham NRA plus as an individual
  • Anne Booth
    signed 2017-10-02 18:29:20 +1100
    We were being told all is well with Macquarie Harbour, then find out there have been major breaches of environmental regulations leading to damage in the WHA with no consequent sanctions by the Tasmanian Govt.

    If WWF is not prepared to apply sanctions by withholding their support Tassal could come to the conclusion that any future breeches would result in nothing more serious than a ‘slap on the wrist’. In effect to operate with impunity.
  • Philip Cocker
    signed 2017-09-17 16:00:30 +1000
  • Carol Rea
    signed 2017-09-17 15:37:31 +1000
    I overlook NW Bay where TASSAL has contributed to the decimation of fish stocks, turbid water and huge rubbish issues. The Panda is in strife if you don’t withdraw from this association with TASSAL. Carol Rea
  • Alfredo Bonanno
    signed 2017-09-17 12:43:37 +1000
  • Michael Aitchison
    signed 2017-09-16 13:33:31 +1000
    Tassal are a disgusting company, they are totally about shareholder profit and greed, they show complete wilful disregard for the environment.The other 2 companies Huon and Petuna maintain moral obligations and work on sustainability. Tassal should be de-listed from the stock exchange until such time they can prove they are following industry best practices and not buying their accreditation!.