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 We’re worried this creates a conflict of interest that is influencing your decision to support their outdated inshore farming methods, which the company is about to expand onto Tasmania’s stunning east coast.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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  • signed 2017-05-12 11:25:11 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-12 11:06:42 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-12 10:55:17 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-11 20:39:21 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-11 20:33:10 +1000
  • 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…
  • signed 2017-05-11 06:18:38 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-11 00:12:47 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-10 20:54:50 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-10 19:33:34 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-10 18:35:16 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-10 18:06:56 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-10 10:32:37 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-09 17:13:32 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-09 14:19:22 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-09 11:52:27 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-09 11:34:16 +1000
    Setting up Salmon Farm in Storm Bay will seriously damage the Eco system in Storm Bay. Bruny Island has been alway sone the last pollution free place in the world. I do not want to see it becomes polluted in the future !
  • signed 2017-05-09 11:29:19 +1000
    it is good for an industry like Salmon farm, but need to consider the impact on the environment.

    the salmon farm already sent 2 mussel farm broke due to the contamination.

    not sure how much damages to our lovely water, with over fishing, left over of feed and waste from the fish
  • signed 2017-05-09 11:17:28 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-09 08:21:43 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-08 22:08:18 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-08 20:08:23 +1000
    I’m all for jobs, but this needs to be stopped, Tassal are a company that do what they want when they want.

    They have no concern for anything or anyone other than themselves, Macquarie Harbour is a classic example of this total disregard.

    There should be no more expansion until everything is properly regulated.!!!!!!
  • signed 2017-05-08 19:02:07 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-08 18:09:05 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-08 14:48:04 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-08 14:47:13 +1000
    Salmon are migrating fish and should not be caged. This is cruelty.
  • signed 2017-05-08 12:02:18 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-08 11:51:42 +1000
  • signed 2017-05-08 11:39:48 +1000
    I’m not buying Tassal.
  • signed 2017-05-08 11:37:26 +1000