Tasmanian Government renews Macquarie Harbour salmon leases as Federal Environment Minister calls for a consultation period

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Today’s announcement from Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek of a 60-day consultation to review salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour is a further delay when urgent action is needed.

“Tanya Plibersek made a promise of no new extinctions on her watch but she is essentially ensuring one by allowing salmon farming to continue in Macquarie Harbour over summer,” said Alistair Allan, Antarctic and Marine campaigner at Bob Brown Foundation.

“The science is certain. Fish farms must be removed or significantly reduced to give the Maugean Skate any chance of survival.”

The consultation announcement comes as the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decides to renew salmon farm leases in Macquarie Harbour, which is a death sentence for the Maugean Skate. The renewed licenses have new conditions attached to them, but are meaningless in the face of an extinction crisis.

“The EPA’s decision to renew salmon farming licenses in Macquarie Harbour shows that our EPA is not independent and instead does the bidding of its political overlords. No environmental agency in its right mind could approve licenses that come with an extinction risk to an endangered species,” Alistair Allan said.

“The EPA must justify this decision to the Tasmanian public. What scientific evidence was used to determine that these leases should be approved again? Premier Rockliff and the Tasmanian Government have knowingly and recklessly handed down a death sentence for the Maugean Skate.”

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