Salmon farming concerns

Industry. The Wild Fishers Against Fin Fish Farms group will host a public meeting next week.

The local group comprises professional and recreational fishermen who oppose the prospect of the salmon farming industry expanding into north west waters.

A report released last year by the Circular Head Regional Economic Development Working Group identified the potential for salmon farming in Circular Head, in particular it identified Three Hummock Island and King Island as grow zones under the Sustainable Salmon Industry Growth Plan.

Following the release of the report, Petuna Aquaculture indicated a desire to explore the prospects of salmon farming in the area and is currently undertaking environmental monitoring.

Representatives of the group against the proposal, including professional fishermen in the crayfish, abalone, scallop and scalefish industries, will share their personal insights and outline concerns at the meeting.

Stanley fisherman Matthew Morgan said the group is particularly concerned about the potential environmental impacts an operation may have.

“This remote region, which has some remarkable coastal island scenery, is a rich fishing area that has been sustainably fished for many generations and currently employs many small family businesses,” he said. 

“Many recreational fishermen also enjoy this area to catch flathead, shark, whiting, abalone and crayfish to feed their families.

“We need to protect our local pristine coastal waters, which are very valuable as nurseries for our fish spawning and juvenile fish.”

Mr Morgan said the impacts of such operations are evident at Okehampton Bay, Macquarie Harbour and D‘entrecasteaux Channel.

“This current open-cage fish farming model, that is being used in Tasmania, has been banned by the governments of Norway and Sweden and they are moving to closed-loop onshore farming to better control pests, diseases and fish waste removal,” Mr Morgan said.

Open to the public, the meeting will be held on Tuesday (February 27) at the Stanley Town Hall from 7.30pm.

For more information ‘Like’ the Wild Fishers Against Salmon (Fin Fish) Farms Facebook page or contact Matthew Morgan on 0428 142 144.

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