*Pic: Marine Protection Tasmania’s pic of Okehampton Bay ...
Candidate for the Legislative Council seat of Prosser Jim Playsted has released correspondence to new Minister for Primary Industries Sarah Courtney MP.
The former Vice President of the Marine Protection Tasmania, established to defend the East Coast against inshore, industrial scale fish farms – Jim Playsted says Minister Courtney has a valuable opportunity in the first 100 days of the new Hodgman Government to ‘take a rain check’ on the current 2030 vision growth plan for the salmon industry.
Because of Okehampton Bay and the environmental catastrophe revelations which continue to spill from Macquarie Harbour – Jim makes the point ‘we are all far more aware of the threats to the ecology and the amenity of our coastal marine environment, from unbridled expansion of this industry,’ than we were before the events of the past 2 years.
In particular Jim draws attention to the serious decline in native fishery stocks which are within reach of tidal flows carrying ammonia rich effluent and nutrient residues from fish farms. ‘Between Partridge Island and Huon Island in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel at last count there were 55 of these pens operating and we are receiving reports of a decline in the productivity of the Acteon Islands from abalone divers, of as much as 50% of their traditional catch’.
It makes no sense – to promote the further growth of industrial scale fish farming, if and until the Wild Fishery and the families who depend upon it, is properly understood and protected from the detrimental effects of inshore salmon farming. Surely none of us want that?
Jim is calling on Minister Courtney to create public forums NOT run by vested interests, where coastal communities identified for potential expansion of the fish farming industry can be heard. And in particular – the restoration of the powers of the ‘Marine Review Panel’ established under the Marine Farm Planning Act 1995 which has not been an independent body since the ‘Soldiers Point’ appeal of 2011.
Download letter to Minister Courtney ...