Maugean Skate “has enough protection” to go extinct

Today’s statement by the Tasmanian Government that the Maugean Skate “has enough protection” is as laughable as it is appalling. The reality is that the Tasmanian Government has done absolutely nothing to protect the skate from extinction caused by industrial fish farms in Macquarie Harbour.

Premier Rockliff and the Tasmanian Government must act immediately to ensure that the Maugean Skate is protected.

“The Maugean Skate has been pushed to the edge of extinction by fish farms and the Tasmanian Government’s carte blanche attitude to regulating the industry. Yet somehow they claim that the Maugean Skate has ‘enough protection.’ This is a contradiction of the highest order,” said Alistair Allan, Antarctic and Marine campaigner at Bob Brown Foundation.

” The Tasmanian Government’s claim that there is no new information regarding the Maugean Skate is simply not true and they know it. They know full well that a decline in population by 47%, along with an emergency report from the Institute of Antarctic and Marine Sciences and federal conservation advice listing fish farms as catastrophic to the Maugean Skate, is new information that wasn’t available at the time of the initial decision regarding fish farms in Macquarie Harbour.”

“The Tasmanian government also knows full well that it was not foreseen that fish farms would impact the Maugean Skate as the initial decision specifically required that fish farms may not impact the species. Well, they have, and complete culpability is at the feet of the fish farm companies and the Tasmanian Government for breaching this requirement. Premier Rockliff must take the entire Australian public as a bunch of fools if he thinks that people will believe that the Maugean Skate is being protected.”

“Premier Rockliff must remove fish farms from Macquarie Harbour immediately. If the Maugean Skate goes extinct, no one will look back and think that his government did all they could to stop it. Instead they will see that his government was responsible for the first extinction due to aquaculture anywhere in the world,” said Alistair Allan.

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