One in Two Australians Support Moratorium on Expansion of Tasmania’s Salmon Farming Industry

Australia Institute

New research from the Australia Institute Tasmania finds that one in two Australians support a moratorium on the expansion of the salmon farming industry in Tasmania, while only 15% oppose.

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians about their attitudes towards salmon farming in Tasmania.

The Federal Government is currently undertaking a parliamentary inquiry into the Australian aquaculture sector.

Key Findings:

  • One in two (49%) Australians support a moratorium on the expansion of the salmon farming industry in Tasmania until issues raised in the inquiry have been resolved, only 15% oppose.
  • Nationally, a majority of Coalition (54%) and Labor (51%) voters support a moratorium on the expansion of salmon farms in Tasmania until issues raised in the inquiry are resolved. 50% of Greens voters support, 17% oppose.
    • 62% of Independent/Other voters answered don’t know/note sure, however more support (31%) than oppose (7%).

“Our research shows there is widespread Australian community concern at the excessive expansion of the salmon farming industry in Tasmania and the decline in health of Tasmania’s coastal waters,” said Eloise Carr, director of the Australia Institute Tasmania.

“While our previous research showed a clear appetite from Tasmanians for more Government action on the health of our oceans, this research confirms that those sentiments are reflected nationally. One in two Australians support a moratorium on the expansion of the salmon farming industry in Tasmania, almost three times as many Australians who oppose this modest measure.

“Without a more comprehensive approach, Tasmanian industries which rely on a healthy ocean will begin to suffer and Tasmania’s economic interests as a whole will suffer in the short to medium term.

“The salmon industry is a very small contributor to Tasmania’s economy with an oversized negative environmental impact, compared to other industries which also rely on the health of our oceans.”

Based on the Australia Institute Tasmania research, three key recommendations to ensure the longterm health of our oceans are:

  • A commitment to a comprehensive state-wide Marine Plan, established through a science based, consultative process taking account of all uses, users and values.
  • A Parliamentary Inquiry, as an appropriate mechanism to review how the Tasmanian Government is currently managing the marine environment and how it should be done.
  • An immediate moratorium on any further expansion of fish farming leases in Tasmanian waters until the impacts of the industry at its current scale are understood and a state-wide Marine Plan has been adopted.

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