Rumours of atlantic salmon sea-pens being established out of Triabunna are sounding alarm bells amongst east coast amateur fishers.

Mayoral candidate Mike Kent says the rumours are gathering momentum to the point where it has become the most pressing issue of his campaign agenda.

“I do not know how much substance there is in the rumours of setting up sea-pens in Okehampton Bay but amateur fishers are so incensed that it’s time to get some answers,” Mike Kent said.

“I can understand the antipathy towards a sea-pen infrastructure in what ranks as the most popular unspoiled recreational marine fishery in Tasmania.”

“Amateur fishers have come to me as a mayoral candidate to intercept any move to introduce any plans for an expansion of Tassal sea-pens to the East Coast.”

“Today I was contacted by recreational fishers State spokesperson, Don Paton, to go beyond the rumour mill and get some answers.”

“Don Paton has his finger on the pulse much more than me on this subject, but like me, is in the dark…and has urged me to demand answers.”

“If the rumour has substance, Paton is not mincing words, when he says, “it’s world war three,” Mike Kent said.

“Don Paton’s view is not alarmist. He represents an influential lobby group with a long history of justifiable opposition to sea-pen threat to traditional recreational fisheries.”

Mike Kent says that any concept of introducing sea-pens without exhaustive community consultation in combination with an environmental impact study should not be tolerated.

He said that the question of sea-pens is coincidental with others related to changes in Tassal’s new rural-based factory out of Triabunna.

“I’m informed that the goal-posts are being relocated there as well, without any consultation with those councilors who approved and objected to it.”

“If this is an extension of the fast-track mindset of the Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council, it seems they have backed the wrong horse with this project.”

Mike Kent said he will ask members of State parliament to raise the many questions of concerned residents and fishers that have reached saturation point in their east coast electorate.

“I would even suggest that the Tassal factory be put on hold until all these questions are resolved.”

“Recreational fishers and I daresay professional fishers would object to any industrial enterprise expanding without consultation into an hitherto pristine sea-board, the east coast of Tasmania,” Mr Kent said.