Greens Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson, cautiously welcomed the leadership shown by Huon Aquaculture today in announcing strategic plans to expand its salmon farming pens off the coast of Tasmania to deep water locations.
"The Greens-initiated Senate inquiry recently heard comprehensive evidence on the many environmental, economic and social issues facing an expanding salmon industry.
“The leadership shown by Huon's Frances Bender in going public with their clear view that the future of Tasmania's salmon farming industry lies in expanding further offshore is welcome.
“The idea of using deep water pens further out to sea was first floated back in the early 1990's, but the government has provided little incentive to move companies in this direction.
“For too long now successive Tasmanian governments have been cheerleaders for the industry rather than doing their job as a regulator. The process of encouraging expansion to deeper water locations should have started many years ago.
“I call on the Hodgman government to recognise the strategic direction shown by Huon and immediately implement its own strategies and goals to make offshore expansion a reality for other players in the industry.
"I initiated the Senate inquiry because it was clear that some senior figures in the salmon industry were unhappy with the lack of government regulation and oversight in preventing pollution and ensuring sustainable growth. The government needed to adopt new processes and regulations to meet industry and community expectations.
“In light of Huon's plans and public statements on the only truly sustainable future path for the growth of the industry, Hodgman needs to immediately abandon his support for expansion of new salmon farms on the inshore waters of east coast Tasmania,” he concluded.