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 We’re worried this creates a conflict of interest that is influencing your decision to support their outdated inshore farming methods, which the company is about to expand onto Tasmania’s stunning east coast.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

Geoff Mosley
Craig Schmidt
Po Chen
Patrick Troy AO
Christine Sokolowski
Jan King
Christine Brown
Brenda Underwood
Terrence Ryan
Chris Tulip
Andrew Davis
Jacqui Cobourn
2,940 signatures

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Showing 2734 reactions

  • raphael read
    signed 2017-05-15 20:48:20 +1000
  • Martien Pieters
    signed 2017-05-15 19:48:44 +1000
  • Geoff Mosley
    signed 2017-05-15 16:30:31 +1000
    Geoff Mosley
  • Peter Parry
    signed 2017-05-15 16:18:40 +1000
  • Amanda Bell
    signed 2017-05-15 14:52:49 +1000
  • Craig Schmidt
    signed 2017-05-15 14:37:00 +1000
  • Po Chen
    signed 2017-05-15 13:04:28 +1000
  • Patrick Troy AO
    signed 2017-05-15 12:29:34 +1000
  • Christine Sokolowski
    signed 2017-05-15 11:27:42 +1000
  • Jan King
    signed 2017-05-13 19:20:35 +1000
    Jan King
  • Margaret Skeel
    signed 2017-05-13 18:56:29 +1000
    Margaret Skeel
  • John Rowe
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-13 18:00:32 +1000
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • John Rowe
    signed 2017-05-13 17:59:52 +1000
  • Diana Ekeroth
    signed 2017-05-13 12:26:08 +1000
  • Susan Reid
    signed 2017-05-13 06:40:29 +1000
  • Frank Coulson
    signed 2017-05-12 22:32:39 +1000
    Frank Coulson
  • Wilhelmina Rea
    signed 2017-05-12 20:15:51 +1000
    Stop supporting Tassal who turn virgin lease sites in Macquarie Harbour into dead zones in just 3 years! Look at what they have done to Macquarie Harbour. How can this be worlds best practice?!?! Tassal do not have a social liceance nor care for the environment. WWF are quickly losing their credibilty by having their logo on Tassal fish. How can consumers know which are the fish from the dead zones?
  • Christine Brown
    signed via 2017-05-12 19:27:36 +1000
    Christine Brown
  • Nadine Blake
    signed via 2017-05-12 19:02:43 +1000
  • Kay Wilson
    signed 2017-05-12 18:52:11 +1000
    Kay Wilson
  • Lauren Faulkner
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-12 18:47:31 +1000
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • pascale richon
    signed 2017-05-12 15:01:52 +1000
    pascale broutin richon
  • Carole Benham
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-12 12:47:49 +1000
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  • Doug Stingle
    signed 2017-05-12 12:16:03 +1000
  • Grant Robinson
    signed 2017-05-12 11:25:11 +1000
  • Brenda Underwood
    signed 2017-05-12 11:06:42 +1000
  • Terrence Ryan
    signed 2017-05-12 10:55:17 +1000
  • Chris Tulip
    signed 2017-05-11 20:39:21 +1000
  • Andrew Davis
    signed 2017-05-11 20:33:10 +1000
  • Jacqui Cobourn
    signed 2017-05-11 07:17:26 +1000
    Jacqui Dixon… I simply can’t believe that the WWF think that the so called sustainable fishing is OK….I don’t understand why, when you decide to endorse a product, you don’t keep an eye on the companies to ensure that they are always doing the right thing, nor that when you are advised that something is amiss, you don’t bother investigate….What has happened to you WWF that you no longer care, as long as they donate money to the fund…This is wrong and you know it…Please tell me why so many organisations that start out going good, saving, protecting, and standing up to those that would willingly destroy our environment….End with being corrupt, money hungry, bottomline corporations…This is so disappointing…I for one will be letting everyone know about this…