Tassal confirms second mass fish kill in Okehampton Bay

13/03/18

Media Release

Tassal confirms second mass fish kill in Okehampton Bay

Today in Federal Court proceedings Tassal have confirmed there have been two major fish kills at their new operations on Tasmania’s east coast over summer – a detail the company has until now concealed from local community members. 

“As the fish kill carnage in Macquarie Harbour continues we now have confirmation that Tassal has had not one but two mass fish kills at Okehampton Bay, adjacent to Maria Island Marine Reserve on Tasmania’s east coast tourism route,” says Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania.

“Beyond the obvious risks to biosecurity, the environment and Brand Tasmania, what is appalling about the current fish kill fiasco is the total lack of transparency. Despite operating in publicly owned waters that other businesses and community users share, it has taken Federal Court proceedings to force Tassal to tell the truth about mass fish kills in our waters,” Ms Kelly says.

Environment Tasmania is calling on Premier Hodgman to introduce legislation that requires salmon companies to disclose fish kill numbers at the time of the fish kill.

“Tassal have confirmed they are operating at more than 15 per cent stock losses. While the industry brands itself as high-end, they are an industrial operation losing stock at an industrial scale. Premier Hodgman has approved this in key tourism areas while locking community and local businesses out of decision making. He must at the very least respect their right to information about major fish kills that impact on them,” Ms Kelly says.

For information: 0401 559 335.


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  • posted about this on Facebook 2018-03-17 18:13:19 +1100
    Tassal confirms second mass fish kill in Okehampton Bay
  • commented 2018-03-14 18:58:01 +1100
    Do these fish farmers ever get fined for breaches of the law? No. Does anyone DPIPWE accept gifts from these fish farms? Yes, they do. Why are they not prosecuted? Because the accountability process is broken. Does anyone in government ever get busted for anything in Tasmania? Not really, no. The Integrity Commission is a toothless kitten – Tasmania needs a proper Crime and Corruption Commission to investigate all this dodgy crap that everybody’s sick of seeing. Join your local Labor Party and pressure them to make it a policy next election. It’s the only chance we’ve got.
  • commented 2018-03-14 13:41:18 +1100
    Disclosure of fish kills in the marine environment within a commercial enterprise will be part and parcel of a commercial fishery. However, the risk to the environment this poses should be sufficient imperative to notify government regulators ( who require this authority) to investigate the commercial operation and assess the environmental risk. Public disclosure naturally follows the government oversight. This should be a part of the licence required by the commercial fishery to operate. If it is not, change it! What of the disease control measures that may be required in the wild stock of endemic fish? The cause of the disease spread should bear the total cost! This would generate sufficient commercial imperative to avoid such incidents.
  • commented 2018-03-13 17:43:20 +1100
    Once again the Tasmanian Liberal government is risking our entire economy – by potentially destroying our clean, green image – the largest draw card Tasmania has. It is what brings in the majority of tourists into our state.
    Tourism is now becoming our largest income, above mining, forestry, etc, and is creating businesses, jobs, and income.
    By allowing businesses to hide facts, conceal data, that shows damage to the environment, they are essentially encouraging other businesses to do what they want, so long as they can keep it hidden.
    However, the more of the state you log, the more bays you pollute, the more scars you leave from mining, the more likely people will start to see what is really happening to this state.
    And when that time comes, and tourism drops away, where will be left?