Tasmania’s peak environment group is calling on Premier Hodgman to intervene to force Tassal to comply with the salmon cap in Macquarie Harbour, after release of a report by the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies that reveals that not one, but two of Tassal’s farms were dead zones in January this year.

“This report shows that not one but two of Tassal’s farms in Macquarie Harbour were dead zones in January,” said Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania.

“While Tassal are trying to paint some return of life to its leases in April as a miraculous recovery, IMAS scientist state clearly that this recovery is not permanent, but is more likely the result of a yearly flushing event, which last year, was followed by a furthering decline in oxygen levels.”

“Unfortunately Tassal are going to need more than a one-off flush before they can dump thousands of tonnes more faeces into the harbour,” Ms Kelly said.

Environment Tasmania has joined Huon Aquaculture in raising serious concerns about the Tasmanian EPA’s willingness to allow Tassal to trial risky ‘waste traps’ in Macquarie Harbour, rather than requiring them to harvest early and comply with the 12,000 tonne biomass cap. announced in May.

“Tassal’s tarps aren’t used anywhere in the world because they failed to get passed trial stage. In Canada, faeces stuck to the sides of tarps and divers had to be sent down to vacuum it off.”

“Rather than attempting to catch thousands of tonnes of faeces using a tarp, Tassal needs to back off from its plans to stock 4000 tonnes over the 12,000 tonne biomass cap regulated for the harbour.”

“‘If Premier Hodgman refuses to stand up to Tassal and prevent further damage to Macquarie Harbour, he will bear ultimate responsibility for the damage to Brand Tasmania,” Ms Kelly said.