Thousands of salmon killed in ‘heatwave’ incident

Editorial Staff

Tasmania’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) acknowledged being notified of a fish mortality incident at the farm.

Environmental activists from the Bob Brown Foundation have claimed that thousands of salmon have perished at Tassal’s fish farm in Okehampton Bay, Tasmania, due to a marine heatwave.

The foundation captured footage showing dead salmon being extracted from the pens and loaded onto a barge, according to a report from Australian broadcaster ABC.

Environmentalists filmed salmon being sucked out of the pen and being put into crates. Photo: Bob Brown Foundation

Alistair Allan, a campaigner with the Bob Brown Foundation, estimated that the number of dead fish was in the thousands, observing pens filled with decomposing fish and a barge pumping out dead salmon from the bottom of the pens.

Tasmania’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) acknowledged being notified of a fish mortality incident at the farm since November 28. The EPA is collaborating with Tassal to determine the extent of the impact.

The cause of the fish deaths, according to EPA director Wes Ford, could be a combination of elevated water temperatures, jellyfish presence, increased algal blooms, or minor disease issues.

Tassal, in response, described the event as a minor but unfortunate incident, particularly occurring in the summer. The company emphasized its focus on fish health and welfare while managing such events.

This incident has reignited concerns among environmentalists, including the Bob Brown Foundation, who had previously opposed Tassal’s expansion in Okehampton Bay. They had argued that the bay was too warm and shallow for sustainable fish farming. Tassal, however, maintains that such events are manageable and are being addressed responsibly by their experts.

The Bob Brown Foundation is an environmental organization based in Australia. It was founded by Bob Brown, a former Australian Senator and leader of the Australian Greens. The foundation focuses on environmental conservation and is known for its activism and advocacy on various environmental issues, including the protection of natural ecosystems, combating climate change, and preserving biodiversity.

Photo: Bob Brown Foundation

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