The Greens have called on the Morrison Government to intervene and rule out using explosives on protected seals during its three-year trial of fish farms in Commonwealth waters.
The call comes following the release of Government data which revealed Huon Aquaculture used more than 8057 underwater explosives against seals in the 15 months to the end of March.
Seals in Commonwealth waters are protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. It is an offence to kill, injure or move them without a permit.
The Greens will be writing to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Commonwealth Environment Department to seek advice on this matter.
Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Whish-Wilson:
“The big salmon companies – including Huon Aquaculture, Tassal, and Petuna – should voluntarily stop this practice, it shouldn’t be up to the community to force this issue.
“If JBS wants to get off on the right foot with Tasmanians then Huon Aquaculture should lead by example and immediately and publicly declare an end to this barbaric practice.
“It’s a lazy and lethal business practice to blast a protected species in its habitat for profit.
“Our precious marine life is already under enough pressure from warming oceans and a raft of other environmental pressures - it’s essential that the expanding salmon industry is more tightly regulated, and far more accountable for any environmental damage it creates.”