Tasmania’s peak environment group has raised concerns that salmon company Tassal’s annual profits, reported today, come at the price of decreased fish quality and increasing environmental harm around Tasmania’s coasts.
“Tassal’s reported increase in fish growth occurred in the same year the company increased its antibiotic use by 75 per cent in total and 50 per cent per tonne of fish,” said Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania. “With the rise of super bugs, the obvious question is whether Tassal’s increased profit has come at the expense of increased health risk and a decrease in product quality.”
“Tassal has also grown larger fish by breaching licence conditions and keeping salmon over marine dead zones and thick bacteria mats. Tasmania's EPA has allowed this, bowing to political pressure to put Tassal's profits ahead of its obligation to protect Tasmania's marine environment.”
According to the ABC, Tassal also claimed to have retained Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certification for the company's Macquarie Harbour operations. Environment Tasmania disputes this claim.
“Tassal has lost ASC Certification for its Franklin lease in Macquarie Harbour and ASC auditors have delayed a decision on the company’s remaining two leases until they have seen evidence from the EPA that Tassal are compliant with laws both within and beyond their lease areas. This evidence has not been forthcoming."
“Environment Tasmania is calling on Tassal to issue an immediate statement to the ASX correcting the misleading information they have provided on the status of the company's ASC Certification,” Ms Kelly said.