Tasmanians want salmon boom to be sustainable, regulated

Statewide polling shows Tasmanians want the fast growing industry of intensive fish farming to be better monitored and regulated.

New polling of 1,310 Tasmanians conducted by ReachTEL for The Australia Institute shows 70% support for establishing an independent watchdog on intensive fish farms and 61% support for an independent investigation into the impacts of the industry on aquaculture, tourism and shoreline communities prior to any expansion. (full results attached)

The briefing paper released today by The Australia Institute also identifies the extremely low level of industry contribution to the state government, which is charged with monitoring and regulating the environmental effects of intensive fish farms.

The industry, worth over $625 million to gross state product, with profits from the two largest companies at $66 million, paid less than $1.1 million in leases and license fees in 2014-15.

“Tasmania has very carefully, over a long period, been building a reputation as for high quality, sustainable fine foods,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.

“This polling shows that Tasmanians have both environmental and regulatory concerns about the boom in high-intensity salmon farming.

“These are very reasonable positions, which reflect the concerns of a community which values that their state’s reputation for responsible environmental management,” Oquist said.

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