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Salmon farm. (Photo: Tassal)

Anti-aquaculture activism pose risks to Tassal, its executives state

Click on the flag for more information about Australia AUSTRALIA
Saturday, September 30, 2017, 01:50 (GMT + 9)

"Community activism" against salmon farm expansion constitutes an increasing risk to Tassal, according to the firm's management board.

Considering the size and nature of Tassal’s operations in Tasmania, the issue represents specific challenges, as it was stated by Tassal’s chief executive Mark Ryan, The Advocate informed.

This community activism has been revealed in the opposition from environmentalists to Tassal’s new salmon farm at Okehampton Bay, on the East Coast and in the fact that the Tasmanian Greens want a ban on new near-shore salmon farms.

The firm’s board stated that that would potentially also affect rival producer Petuna, which is looking at possible North-West farming.

The Greens also want a moratorium on new salmon farms and the expansion of existing ones.

Tassal ran into trouble at Macquarie Harbour, on the West Coast, over environmental non-compliance and was ordered to de-stock a lease earlier this year.

On the other hand, Ryan and Tassal's chairman Allan McCallum said it would be “naive to believe that the recent issues and the root of the problems in the Tasmanian salmon industry is just activism”.

“Tassal believes that the recent issues are a symptom of the industry starting to test the natural capacity and growth limits for fish farming in current lease areas using today’s technologies and methodologies,” the executives stressed.

In addition, they ensure that adaptive management and innovation have always been at the core of Tassal’s business and growth, and expressed their belief that they need to continue to learn, adapt and innovate as they move forward.

In their opinion, salmon aquaculture was one of Tasmania’s “anchor industries” and that further industry growth needs to happen in ways that will not cause any lasting harm to the environment and that will add value to communities.

“Achieving this requires ever-better science, relentless adaptation and an expanding mix of partnerships. Tassal is ready to meet this challenge,” they stated.

Tassal reported a AUD 58.1 million (USD 45.5 million) net profit after tax for 2016-17, which was about AUD 9.6 million (USD 7.5 million) more than the previous year’s result.

Related articles:

- Tassal wins back certification for two fish farm leases in waters of Macquarie Harbour
- Strong controversy generated by federal approval for Tassal’s aquaculture farm in Tasmania
- Tassal’s statements on Macquarie improvements sound unconvincing to authorities


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