Tasmania's peak environment group has called for an immediate increase in fines for environmental crimes by big salmon companies, after Huon Aquaculture was fined just $40,000 for 6 breaches of environment laws this week. Environment Tasmania is also proposing a 'three strikes and you're out' rule for salmon companies, with suspension of operating licences for one year at sites with recurring breaches of environment notices.
Environment group calls for 'three strikes and you're out' rule, as Huon salmon gets away with environmental crimes
"This fine is just 0.01% of Huon's revenue, which means it's cheaper for big salmon companies to break the law than follow it," says Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania.
"Paltry fines provide no disincentive to ignoring environment laws, and have effectively allowed Huon Aquaculture to get away with dumping 80,000 of water contaminated with ammonia, copper, lead and zinc."
Huon Aquaculture claimed staff were 'unaware' of environmental protection notices. Magistrate F.M Daly said the company had provided "no reasonable explanation" why it's managers were unaware of the need to follow EPA notices.
"If companies operating licences were suspended for recurring breaches, rest assured managers would suddenly become aware of the need to follow environment laws," Ms Kelly says.
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