Federal Environment Minister must keep her promise of no new extinctions

Media Enquiries

Last night, the Tasmanian Labor and Liberal parties passed a bipartisan motion calling for support of aquaculture in Macquarie Harbour. The motion, however, did nothing to acknowledge the plight of the endangered Maugean Skate, found only in Macquarie Harbour. The science is abundantly clear that fish farms are pushing this rare, endemic animal towards extinction. The Tasmanian Liberal and Labor parties should not be willing to consign an animal to extinction, by allowing foreign multinationals to continue destroying one of Tasmania’s most beautiful bodies of water that connects to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Bob Brown Foundation has written to the Federal Environment Minister urging her to review the 2012 decision to allow aquaculture in Macquarie Harbour under the EPBC Act.

“The federal conservation advice regarding fish farms in Macquarie Harbour is unequivocal; fish farms have a catastrophic impact on the Maugean Skate,” said Alistair Allan, Bob Brown Foundation’s Antarctic and Marine Campaigner.

“It is not just activist groups that want to see the Maugean Skate survive – no one wants an animal to disappear from the planet forever. Tasmanian Liberal and Labor can collude all they want to support these environmentally destructive fish farms but the reality is that they must be removed to give this rare and unique animal any chance of survival.”

“It has been known for decades that Macquarie Harbour is a terrible place to farm fish. There have been multiple mass fish deaths and, with ever-warming waters due to climate change, both Labor and Liberal are offering false promises of ongoing operations to the West Coast community.”

“If Labor or Liberal really cared about the workers of the West Coast, they would be passing a bipartisan motion calling for the fair and just transition for workers out of Macquarie Harbour and onto land. Instead, they are stepping over each other to appease the foreign multinational companies that own the salmon farms.”

“The Federal Environment Minister made a promise to the entire Australian public that there would be no new extinctions under her watch. This is a promise that she must keep and The Australian public expects that she will. If fish farms are not removed from Macquarie Harbour then it’s a certainty that her promise will be broken, ”said Alistair Allan, Bob Brown Foundation’s Antarctic and Marine Campaigner.

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