Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) plan to build a new Maugean Skate facility is a good idea in the wrong place.

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Rather than being built in Hobart, it should be constructed in Strahan on the shores of Macquarie Harbour, the Maugean Skate’s only remaining habitat, where it would also become a job-creating new tourism attraction for the West Coast.

The facility should be dual-purpose, with both a captive breeding program as well as an aquarium and information centre showcasing the magnificent Maugean Skate and the unique ecosystem that is Macquarie Harbour.

“The Maugean Skate has been pushed to the edge of extinction by salmon farms in Macquarie Harbour. It is only because of this that the need for a captive breeding facility exists. Therefore, to minimise stress to the species, and maximise new jobs and tourism opportunities in Strahan, the facility should be built in Strahan,” said Alistair Allan, Antarctic and Marine Campaigner at Bob Brown Foundation.

“We wrote to Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek about this a few months ago, and it was acknowledged that it could be a good idea.”

“BBF is researching options for the facility on the West Coast. The reality is that fish farms must be removed from Macquarie Harbour to save the Maugean Skate. The beauty of a new facility in Strahan is that it will provide jobs and an influx of tourists eager to see this ancient animal.”

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