Tax every single hatchery fish to raise funds for environmental damage, say academics ahead of inquiry in Tasmanian salmon farming

Billion-dollar Tasmanian salmon farming industry under the spotlight. 

Up to 230 submissions to an inquiry on finfish farming in Tasmania have been uploaded and released ahead of tomorrows’ sub-Committee inquiry.

The debate asked for comments on the planning, assessment, operation and regulation of finfish farming in Tasmania. Hearings will be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tassal CEO Mark Ryan submitted that: “The industry acknowledges that salmon aquaculture, in line with all types of farming and human activity, can influence the shared waterways where we farm.

“We are currently working within a highly regulated environment by global and comparative standards and do so with pride and passion, while always maintaining a focus on how we can further enhance our farming and processing practises to further reduce any impacts.

Huon Aquaculture posted that “it is critical that Tasmania does not repeat the experiences of other countries where poor biosecurity practices and rapid industry growth combined to cause catastrophic industry collapse, primarily due to the uncontrolled spread of fish diseases.

It added: “We are constantly taking action to anticipate change. The way we are farming now is completely different to the way we were farming five years ago as such, we are one of the first Atlantic Salmon companies in the world to go offshore-into rough waters.

On the other end of the scale, academics Dain Bolwell and Lisa-ann Gershwin suggested that salmon hatcheries should be taxed per-fish or per-litre, to be kept in a reparations fund to fund environmental damage from fish farming.

Gershwin, an expert on jellyfish, also believes that aquaculture could be acerbating the problem of rising jellyfish populations. Moon jellyfish have hit the stocks belonging to salmon farmers such as Huon Aquaculture in recent years.


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