No legal basis for the Australian government to ban salmon farming says trade body

Editorial Staff

Submission aims to provide balance and factual information in the public debate, countering what Salmon Tasmania CEO Luke Martin described as misleading tactics by activist groups.

Salmon Tasmania has made public its submission to the Federal Government’s review concerning salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour.

The submission addresses the 2012 decision on the industry’s operation in the area, particularly in relation to the Maugean skate, an endemic species in the harbor.

The organization’s submission states there is no scientific evidence indicating that removing aquaculture from Macquarie Harbour would guarantee the future of the Maugean skate in its natural habitat. Additionally, Salmon Tasmania argues that there is no legal basis for the Australian Government to reverse its 2012 decision on salmon farming in the harbor.

Salmon Tasmania CEO, Luke Martin, emphasized the importance of transparency, stating that the submission includes new scientific analysis demonstrating minimal impact of aquaculture on the oxygen levels in the natural environment, crucial for the Maugean skate’s survival.

“Tasmania’s salmon industry is highly regulated, informed by some of the best marine scientists in the world, and uses the most advanced technology available,” Martin said.

Martin expressed confidence in the industry’s regulated practices, informed by leading marine scientists and advanced technology. He asserted that the industry’s presence in Macquarie Harbour is not a critical threat to the endangered Maugean skate and could positively impact efforts to secure the species’ future.

The submission also aims to provide balance and factual information in the public debate, countering what Martin described as misleading tactics by activist groups.

“There is no doubt activist groups have cherry-picked conservation reports in their vexatious pursuit of lawfare through the EPBC legislation, purely to attack the reputation of our industry,” said Martin.

‘This campaign is causing tremendous uncertainty and stress for the residents of Strahan and the broader community of the North-West Coast, and it must now stop.

Addressing changes since 2012, Martin noted that the industry’s scale and impact within the harbor have significantly evolved, with current production capped at 9,500 tons, compared to the planned expansion to over 20,000 tons per annum in 2012. He highlighted the role of independent regulation by the EPA and advancements in reducing nitrogen levels/

Martin urged Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek for a prompt decision on the review to alleviate uncertainty affecting workers, families, businesses, and communities in North-West Tasmania. He advocated for a holistic approach to addressing environmental challenges in Macquarie Harbour, beyond focusing solely on salmon aquaculture.


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