The reduced biomass cap announced by the EPA yesterday confirms the atrocious state of Macquarie Harbour.
Macquarie Harbour has dissolved oxygen levels so low there are dead zones under salmon pens, causing risk to threatened species, fish deaths and damage to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the extent of which is still unknown.
The state of Macquarie Harbour is an indictment on the Hodgman Government. The Liberals have overseen this degradation, and they’ve approved the same practices for Tasmania’s East Coast.
Minister Rockliff needs to stop blaming company infighting for damaging the industry’s reputation and Tasmania’s brand. Companies are locked in legal battles because government regulations are not up to scratch, or not being enforced.
The deterioration of Macquarie Harbour will only make the community fight harder against the Liberals’ approved East Coast fish farm expansion, backed in by the Labor Opposition.
The government needs to admit responsibility, halt plans at Okehampton Bay, and try and restore eroding public confidence by properly policing the industry.
We all want a salmon farming industry we can be proud of, one that’s sustainable for the long-term. The only way to achieve that is by looking after the marine environment and ensuring the industry is properly regulated.