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 We’re worried this creates a conflict of interest that is influencing your decision to support their outdated inshore farming methods, which the company is about to expand onto Tasmania’s stunning east coast.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

Dorothy White
Rina Cohen
Ken Dann
Lyne Riley
Jacqueline Collins
Steven Lonsdale
Louise DeLatour
Jo-Ann Back
Glenn Winters
Sophie Underwood
2,940 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 2734 reactions

  • Carol Maher
    signed 2017-05-07 11:15:43 +1000
  • Dorothy White
    signed 2017-05-06 21:09:09 +1000
  • Richard Radley
    signed 2017-05-06 16:47:01 +1000
    There’s got to be a better way on how we can sustaine salmon production. Instead of fixed breeding / growing farms is there any way we can have multiple rotating growing stations where you do one cycle then move to the next? If say you had twenty sites and you rotated each site by the time you returned to the original site the enviroment would have repaired itself in able to do another breeding / growing cycle, just my thoughts, all the best, good luck,

    regards – Richard.
  • Debra Kelly
    signed 2017-05-06 12:11:53 +1000
  • Jason Orr
    @JasonOrr8 tweeted link to this page. 2017-05-06 10:24:11 +1000
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • Jason Orr
    signed 2017-05-06 10:23:55 +1000
  • Anthony Stevens
    signed 2017-05-06 08:12:15 +1000
    These people should have to record and report any instance of seal capture. These reports should of course be available to the public. As native species they are protected and it is in the public interest that all information regarding salmon farming interactions with seals, is recorded and freely available to the public.
  • Rina Cohen
    signed 2017-05-06 01:13:33 +1000
  • Ken Dann
    signed 2017-05-05 21:57:52 +1000
  • Lyne Riley
    signed 2017-05-05 15:44:53 +1000
  • Stuart Loone
    signed 2017-05-04 21:45:43 +1000
  • Maria Rance
    signed 2017-05-04 19:32:30 +1000
    Tasal also leaves a lot of garbage after they move pens. Ropes, plastics, that endanger the boats using the waterways. Had a big cleanup by the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania, literally tons of fish farm discarded rubbish left.
  • Jacqueline Collins
    signed 2017-05-04 14:16:48 +1000
  • Elaine Hart
    signed via 2017-05-04 12:27:09 +1000
  • Christopher Hill
    signed 2017-05-04 11:22:51 +1000
  • Anna Renz
    signed 2017-05-04 09:19:14 +1000
  • Steven Lonsdale
    signed 2017-05-04 08:43:23 +1000
    Steven Lonsdale
  • Paul Payten
    signed 2017-05-03 16:35:07 +1000
  • Judy Sheedy
    signed 2017-05-03 12:10:58 +1000
  • Louise DeLatour
    signed 2017-05-03 10:53:50 +1000
  • Robert Crawford
    signed 2017-05-02 18:52:02 +1000
    If it is true that seals are being slaughtered to protect salmon farming, then the WWF should investigate and prosecute if justified.
  • Tenille Kaufmann
    signed 2017-05-02 17:56:13 +1000
    Tenille Kaufmann
  • Allan Hobbs
    signed via 2017-05-02 11:03:12 +1000
  • Jo-Ann Back
    signed 2017-05-02 09:13:13 +1000
  • Glenn Winters
    signed 2017-05-02 09:11:26 +1000
  • Belinda Krajina
    signed 2017-05-02 05:41:22 +1000
    Belinda Krajina
  • Brigida Neves
    signed 2017-05-02 01:03:36 +1000
  • Mark Braby
    signed 2017-05-01 22:26:00 +1000
  • Sophie Underwood
    signed 2017-05-01 21:26:55 +1000
  • Lachlan Free
    signed 2017-05-01 20:38:05 +1000