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 We’re worried this creates a conflict of interest that is influencing your decision to support their outdated inshore farming methods, which the company is about to expand onto Tasmania’s stunning east coast.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

2,940 signatures

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Showing 2734 reactions

  • Melanie Thurtell
    signed 2019-08-01 21:00:39 +1000
  • Louise Clayton
    signed 2019-07-31 16:44:09 +1000
  • Jane Horn
    signed 2019-07-27 06:23:28 +1000
  • Stephanie Honey
    signed 2019-07-26 03:31:52 +1000
  • Kate Powell
    signed 2019-07-04 09:18:34 +1000
  • Marianne Bekkema
    signed via 2019-03-17 13:44:34 +1100
  • Lucie Wuethrich
    signed 2019-01-24 01:59:02 +1100
    I can’t see the WWF logo on Tassal’s online products. Does this mean success?
  • Janice Thorpe
    signed via 2018-12-29 13:28:17 +1100
  • Jeff Miller
    signed via 2018-10-23 08:49:45 +1100
  • Ronda Weidmann
    signed via 2018-10-19 11:54:23 +1100
    I support Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection about this issue
  • Denise Kerr
    signed via 2018-10-19 06:27:37 +1100
  • Scott Coleman
    signed via 2018-10-19 03:32:46 +1100
  • Karla Willis
    signed via 2018-10-18 18:03:21 +1100
    The environmental damage done to Macquarie Harbour is shameful. Please remove your support for TASSAL and any other current Tasmanian salmon farming.
  • Brett Duggan
    signed via 2018-10-18 12:27:35 +1100
  • pam blunt
    signed via 2018-10-18 12:07:52 +1100
  • Kim Crawford
    signed via 2018-10-18 12:04:09 +1100
  • Pam Watkins
    signed via 2018-10-18 10:30:29 +1100
    Hoping that the Salmon industry will ‘clean up their act’ because the WWF are permitting them to use their logo is farcical. No doubt the half a million they are paying you will ease the pain.
  • Eat My Vagina
    signed 2018-10-08 19:28:51 +1100
  • s Kohler
    signed 2018-09-26 21:55:56 +1000
  • Mark Duncan
    signed 2018-09-26 17:18:43 +1000
  • John Rokas
    signed 2018-09-26 15:27:30 +1000
  • Suzanne Louden
    signed via 2018-08-05 21:16:23 +1000
  • Kay Birkinshaw
    signed 2018-07-20 00:07:25 +1000
  • Jaye Hanson
    signed 2018-07-08 18:01:46 +1000
    The WWF has lost all credibility. Bought and owned
  • Chris Chavasse
    signed 2018-06-01 10:44:43 +1000
    I am disgusted that WWF is allowing its brand to support the greewashing of Tassal!

    It is evident that the massive overstocking of salmon farms in Macquarie Harbour is unsustainable & a danger to the the biodiversity of the region.

    Please re-evaluate your support for Tassal & withdraw it.
  • Darren Noyes-Brown
    signed 2018-04-29 07:50:58 +1000
  • Elizabeth Conlan
    signed 2018-03-22 15:27:03 +1100
  • Jacqui Crisp
    posted about this on Facebook 2018-03-18 16:52:55 +1100
    Sign the petition: An Open Letter to the President of WWF Australia
  • Jacqui Crisp
    signed via 2018-03-18 16:52:30 +1100
  • Phil Bywater
    signed 2018-01-17 20:13:07 +1100