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Thursday
Oct182018

Caged Fish Farming in Tasmania Under a Cloud

Because of the threat to our our environment resulting from caged kingfish farming in the Hauraki Gulf, I keep track of international news on this form of aquaculture elsewhere.

Yesterday, the Austrlaian Marine Conservation Society moved to downgrade its rating for Tasmanian farmed Atlantic salmon from 'amber' (think twice!) to 'red' (say no!)

This is a very significant move by this Society that is widely recognised, and whose consumer recommendations are widely followed in Australia. It follows a "comprehensive scientific assessment of the ecological impact of Tasmanian salmon farms.

The following is a summary of the conclusions:

“If done sustainably, fish-farming can provide an important source of seafood for Australians. It is unfortunate that the scientific evidence has led to a sustainability downgrade of Atlantic Salmon in the latest review of the Guide, particularly as the salmon farming industry was heading in the right direction until recent years.

“But in the past three years fish farming has had serious impacts on sensitive marine habitats and threatened species, particularly in Tasmania’s Macquarie Harbour. The salmon farming industry bears significant responsibility for the environmental impacts in the Harbour, and needs to clean up its act.

“Fish farming has reached such intensity in Macquarie Harbour that we’ve had consecutive summers of serious environmental impacts, including several massive fish kills. There have been dangerously low oxygen levels in deeper harbour waters, over a million fish have been lost due to asphyxiation and disease, and ‘dead zones’ have formed on the seafloor. This is a serious failure in management.

“If there is an aquaculture equivalent to overfishing, it’s growing many more fish than the local environment can support so you end up killing them."

Read the full account though the URL, and add this information to that which we already know about the probable consequences for our own environment once the overseas (understood to be Japanese) interests begin to apply their practices in the Gulf by way of the Hauraki iwi partnererd farm.

Japanese interests have alrerady applied for a area in Western Australia (the Albrohos Islands) ten times larger than that proposed 240h here, also for the purpose of cultivating kingfish.

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Do you really have to be a 'rocket scientist' to figure out that any kind of intensive farming is bad for the environment - fish farming is no different to diary farming - is it - in terms of the probability of environmental degradation?
Notions of sustainability and environmental best practice go out the window in the face of possible profit so that New Zealand does itself no favours in the rampant pursuit of the corporate approach to farming - of any sort.
Nor is there much in it for us if we seek an overseas investment partner … let us think these issues through in a more considered and pragmatic way, taking a longer view to the economic, environmental and physical and mental health of our people and the [physical] health of our land.
Everybody, it seems, wants a piece of our pie. Let's think about why that might be?
The model we adopted in 1985 has not served us at all well and we need to move away from the commodity / profit approach and recover ownership and interests in our future.
Our future - not that of any other foreign investor.
Fin fish farming and intensive dairying is more about New Zealand prostituting itself for the pleasure of others - don't you think?

October 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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