*Pic: of far N/W Tas seabed area – Hope Channel ...
First published August 21
So we (concerned citizens) had our first public meeting regarding the Far N/W Salmon Farm Proposal at the Rocky Cape Tavern on 17 August 2017.
The media representative for Petuna Aquaculture basically told us of their goals:
They want 1000 hectares of water to put up to 100 fish pens. (Petuna Aquaculture is a partnership company 49% shared by NZ Sealord).
Now I know how David felt against Goliath.
How Daniel must have felt in the lions den.
To put this into perspective - 1000 hectares is an area the size of Walker Island.
And they want our sheltered waters in the lee of the 3 Hummocks and Hunter Island, this is known as Hope Channel.
What’s wrong with this?
Let me tell you …
The 3 Hummocks and the surrounding channels, mudflats and sandbars are the nursery areas for many species of marine life.
Our Crayfish spent time there as Phyllosoma
It’s a nursery for seahorses.
King George Whiting and Australian Salmon proliferate in these waters.
It is an essential habitat for a myriad of native and migratory water birds.
We cray in that area.
When the weather is rough the shark boats work there a lot
Abalone divers are there ... and there is a commercial scallop bed as well.
The amateur fishing fleet catches gummy shark, Australian wild salmon, flathead and red schnapper and garfish in this area.
And NO-ONE prior to this meeting consulted the Stakeholders in North-West Tasmania.
As a crayfisherman I am horrified that –
1. The claim by government (Jeremy Rockliff) that prior to the Salmon Farm proposal, consultation took place (that’s an alternative truth).
2. The fact the Minister Rockliff claims moving the Salmonoid (fin fish industry) offshore is World’s Best Practice.
Let me assure you, after spending many hours of research on global salmon farming practices, this industry globally is in crisis – for habitat degradation and environmental and ecological vandalism.
We must have our submissions in by the 8th September.
So there is very little time to save the 3 Hummocks.
Because I feel the fear of defeat (and that is a bitter pill to swallow) I urge you all too actively lobby your respective political affiliations.
My belief is this goes beyond party politics and loyalties.
We need everyone’s support or we lose the 3 Hummocks for commercial and amateur fishing.
The petitions both on social media and hard copy are doing extremely well.
I quote from Richard Mounsey who signed the online petition …
“I’m an international fisheries consultant who has worked worldwide for 30 years and seen the good and bad aspects of fish farming. Fish farms are essential for community survival in places but not in Australia. The farms change the balance of nature and only those directly involved benefit. The seas belong to everyone and more so to the people who live closest. Let the local community say and judge what happens, not outside investors.”
But we need to do more.
Please get everyone to sign.
But more importantly, we need political muscle.
I urge you all. This is our only hope. Can we, the working class, stop a greedy corporate giant? With enough support, maybe !
We need Circular Head Council backing.
We need Ruth Forrest’s support.
We need Justine Keay’s support.
We need Malcolm Turnbull’s support.
We need Bill Shorten’s support.
We need the Greens support.
We need EVERYONE.
*Matthew Morgan is a professional fisherman who has shark-fished Bass Strait and 3 Hummock area for over 33 years. “I now Crayfish and have been doing that for 12 years. That is where I learned my lessons on using the marine environment in a sustainable and ecologically friendly manner. I live in Stanley, call Tasmania my home and simply want all users of our marine resources to do so in a sustainable manner. We are only the custodians for the next generation. Realising that let’s do the best job of it we possibly can.”