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 We’re worried this creates a conflict of interest that is influencing your decision to support their outdated inshore farming methods, which the company is about to expand onto Tasmania’s stunning east coast.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

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Showing 2734 reactions

  • Edward Zammit
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-20 09:19:11 +1000
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • Edward Zammit
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-20 09:19:10 +1000
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • Edward Zammit
    signed 2017-05-20 09:18:49 +1000
  • Kristin Terry
    signed 2017-05-20 07:54:31 +1000
    Makes me so sad but terribly angry. Profit over protection is so wrong.
  • Nick Prokopiec
    signed 2017-05-19 20:30:26 +1000
  • Clean Conscience Duggan
    signed 2017-05-19 19:39:13 +1000
    Tassal’s unethical practices are damaging Tasmanian business that truly care about Tasmania’s environment and produce products that rely on and market themselves on Tasmania’s green clean image.
  • Bridget Verrier
    signed 2017-05-19 19:23:30 +1000
  • Suzette Pelt
    signed 2017-05-19 17:30:33 +1000
  • Stefan Johansson
    signed 2017-05-19 17:25:11 +1000
  • Lynne Wagner
    signed 2017-05-19 16:38:42 +1000
    This issue must be taken very seriously. Monies received cannot be taken into account. Our children’s futures is at stake. Time to do the right thing big business, governments and WWF
  • Teresita Pintos
    signed 2017-05-19 15:56:28 +1000
    Tassal’s disregard for the health of the environment of the Harbour in Tasmania is not acceptable.

    I have stop buying salmon because of their greed in the way they cruelly treat the very fish that they make money from.
  • Zoe Cozens
    signed 2017-05-19 15:26:12 +1000
    You are worth more then the financial support you receive from this dodgy company. Quit taking their money.
  • Tania Brookes
    signed 2017-05-19 14:18:19 +1000
  • Peter Trethewey
    signed 2017-05-19 13:44:32 +1000
    Help save our state from this rotten industry
  • Andrew Kellett
    signed 2017-05-19 12:38:19 +1000
  • Trudy Talbot
    signed 2017-05-19 12:26:09 +1000
  • Robyn Lee
    signed 2017-05-18 17:16:33 +1000
  • Lin Knight
    signed 2017-05-18 16:54:00 +1000
  • Dr Sue Schofield
    signed 2017-05-18 16:18:06 +1000
    Dr Sue Schofield WWF should NOT support Tassal and this horrendous (increase in) salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour…an area known for its pristine waters. The more I hear about various programs where WWF is involved the more I want to run in the other direction! Canned Hunting…Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil…now this! Your animal and environmental credentials are down the toilet!
  • sally ryan
    signed 2017-05-18 10:04:20 +1000
    who ever you are, you need to get down here and see what all of the locals are concerned about, and if you dont, then you are working for the wrong company…maybe chevron would suit you better…..
  • Roel Bergema
    signed 2017-05-17 23:01:37 +1000
    Roel Bergema
  • Joanne Gerritsen
    signed 2017-05-17 22:26:33 +1000
  • Louise Slattery
    signed via 2017-05-17 22:16:04 +1000
  • Emily Beck
    signed 2017-05-17 20:41:16 +1000
  • Tracey O'Brien
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-17 18:57:55 +1000
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • Tracey O'Brien
    signed 2017-05-17 18:57:21 +1000
  • Apostolis Hadoulis
    signed 2017-05-17 18:33:07 +1000
  • Sascha Ettinger
    signed 2017-05-17 14:09:33 +1000
  • Edward Zammit
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-16 02:27:25 +1000
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • Robin Winterflood
    signed 2017-05-15 21:17:46 +1000