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Another Mass Fish Escape from Huon Aquaculture

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Statement from Peter Bender, 3 December 2020 Yesterday morning (2nd of December 2020) it was discovered that a fish pen moored at our Yellow Bluff lease in Storm Bay had a tear in its inner net (approximately 4m below the surface down to the base of the net). A significant loss of fish has occurred […]

Statement from Peter Bender, 3 December 2020

Yesterday morning (2nd of December 2020) it was discovered that a fish pen moored at our Yellow Bluff lease in Storm Bay had a tear in its inner net (approximately 4m below the surface down to the base of the net).

A significant loss of fish has occurred (with an average weight of around 550 grams).  We estimate between 120,000 and 130,000.  Due to their small size these fish are unlikely to survive in the marine environment.

This incident, coupled with the fire at a pen in the Lower Channel last week, is hugely concerning.

The integrity and structure of the Fortress Pen has not been compromised. While the weather was challenging over the past few days, the sea state was relatively calm.

The direction of the prevailing winds would indicate that weather is not the cause of the net tear.

In accordance with our regulatory requirements, this incident was reported to Government yesterday.

Crews have continued working through the night to assess and review this incident with no clear cause identified.

Internal investigations in relation to last week’s fire at a pen in the Lower Channel are also still ongoing with no clear cause yet identified.


Media release – Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection , 3 December 2020

Another mass escape from Huon Aquaculture feedlots

Tasmania’s peak marine protection body, the Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection (TAMP), demands a full and public investigation into two huge breakouts of from salmon feedlots in less than a fortnight.

TAMP also says the escape is yet one more nail in the coffin for industrial fish production in floating feedlots in Tasmania’s waterways.

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“In ten days, Huon Aquaculture has unleashed at least 170,000 introduced Atlantic salmon into coastal waters and to pretend that is not going to impact and threaten native marine life is a joke,” says Peter George, co-chair of TAMP.

“It’s simply outrageous that Huon Aquaculture spins the escape of an introduced species into local waters as a great day for fishers,” Peter George, co-chair of TAMP.

“It is anything but a great day – it’s a real threat and anyone who thinks otherwise is dreaming.

“Claims that Atlantic salmon are not a threat are based on incomplete scientific evidence – even the scientists say they don’t know exactly what happens to escaped salmon, how they survive, for how long and to what extent they become predators.”

Government, regulators and the industry need to hold a complete, forensic, independent and transparent investigation into the survival and impact of escapes of introduced species in Tasmanian waters.

Furthermore, escapes need to be followed-up by penalties in the same way that any damaging pollution in other industries would be penalised.

“Politicians, regulators and the industry adopt a ‘nothing to be seen’ here attitude,” Mr George says.

“But this escape is just one more reason why the industry needs to get out of our waters and move ashore as is happening everywhere else in the world.

“Huon Aquaculture and Tassal have proven time after time they cannot be trusted to operate safely and sustainably in Tasmanian waters.”

Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2020/12/another-mass-fish-escape-huon-aquaculture/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=another-mass-fish-escape-huon-aquaculture

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