An Open Letter to WWF - Environment Tasmania

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 We’re worried this creates a conflict of interest that is influencing your decision to support their outdated inshore farming methods, which the company is about to expand onto Tasmania’s stunning east coast.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

Dr Rutth Barker
Laurell Brown
Anne Booth
Carol Rea
Michael Aitchison
Ann Wessing
Adam Baker
Audrey Collins
John Dudley
Taylor Richardson
Daniel Kristof
melva truchanas
Graeme Butcher
Barry Palmer
cathy palmer
Kit Peters
Nigel Hewitt
Alex Buckley
2,940 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 2734 reactions

  • Dr Rutth 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!.
  • Ann Wessing
    signed 2017-09-16 09:00:10 +1000
  • Adam Baker
    signed 2017-09-15 16:06:31 +1000
    Wake up WWF
  • Justin Baker
    signed 2017-09-15 14:18:58 +1000
  • Audrey Collins
    signed 2017-09-15 14:06:06 +1000
  • John Dudley
    signed 2017-09-15 13:21:15 +1000
  • Taylor Richardson
    signed 2017-09-09 01:24:29 +1000
    Stop supporting Tassal!
  • Jen Stanton
    signed 2017-09-08 18:30:06 +1000
  • Daniel Kristof
    signed 2017-09-08 17:45:12 +1000
  • melva truchanas
    signed 2017-09-08 15:28:51 +1000
    Tasmanians carry more than their % sized share in providing the world with its pristine wild areas and many protected animals. We welcome your WWF support to help this most of the time.

    BUT this one you have approved incorrectly, so its time to mend the problem.

    Please do this quickly – as the Tassal brand is incorrectly used to assure the general public wrongly that all is OK. Please don’t head up this wrong assumption – and change your support.


    ps I wonder at the Tassal leases being approved in the past, in the waters of Macquarie Harbour. I understand that the rivers into the Harbour still carry the poisons of primitive mines of the 1800’s. Poisons in the drainage to the West Coast rivers still have a presence in the Harbour’s silt and mud.
  • Graeme Butcher
    signed 2017-08-05 10:54:42 +1000
    Graeme Butcher
  • Barry Palmer
    signed via 2017-08-04 22:56:00 +1000
  • cathy palmer
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-08-04 16:57:20 +1000
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • cathy palmer
    signed 2017-08-04 16:56:28 +1000
  • Ella MacGregor
    signed 2017-07-25 21:25:14 +1000
  • Bruce Galbraith
    signed 2017-07-24 18:25:40 +1000
  • Miranda Jelbart
    signed via 2017-07-20 15:45:38 +1000
    Fully support the demand for accountability in major farming and ocean farming practices, to ensure responsibility, and that they do not play havoc with our environment and adversely impact human health.
  • Kit Peters
    signed 2017-06-27 11:45:42 +1000
  • Jane Blundell
    signed via 2017-06-23 20:31:44 +1000
    Tassal, get out of these pristine waters where whales give birth to their calves.

    People of the world are entitled to enjoy our beautiful country unhindered.

    We do not need money grabbers like you destroying our waters/country.

    I for one will not buy any of Tassl’s product and I hope other people follow suit.

    Jane Blundell
  • Martina Behla
    signed 2017-06-23 00:26:54 +1000
  • Nigel Hewitt
    signed 2017-06-22 17:38:17 +1000
  • Alex Buckley
    signed 2017-06-21 18:50:30 +1000
  • Miranka van Breugel
    signed 2017-06-21 01:58:25 +1000
    Living as a marine biologist on the island of Aruba, I completely understand your predicament with large, global organizations (willingly or unwillingly) underestimating damage done by projects from large corporations. I support Environment Tasmania’s cause in protecting the nature that remains and I hope that WWF will open it’s eyes soon. Thanks for fighting the good fight.