An impartial survey finds the community support the salmon industry
Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association
20 October 2016
Tasmanian public sees the Salmon Industry as vital to the state
The Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association today released EMRS market research conducted two weeks ago that examines how the community views the fin-fish aquaculture industry.
The CEO of the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association, Dr Adam Main said the industry is overwhelmingly respected and supported by the Tasmanian community and has a social license.
“85% of the respondents have either a positive or neutral attitude towards the industry, while 92% consider that; “farmed salmon has significant economic benefits for the State” and that; “salmon farming provides important training and employment opportunities for local communities”.
“As an industry we are pleased with the level of support throughout the community, and how the majority of respondents want it to grow.” Dr Main said.
Dr Main added “when the 600 participants were asked to rate the importance of several Tasmanian industries, the aquaculture industry recorded the third highest net importance score of 93, with 96% of respondents in total stating that they viewed the industry as important to Tasmania, 62% of whom stated very important”.
“Close to three quarters of respondents (74% in total) were in support to some degree of the expansion of the salmon farming industry.
“Among respondents who regarded the aquaculture industry as important to Tasmania, the most frequently given reason was that it “generates jobs/ employment” (32%)”. Dr Main said.
One in ten respondents (10%) supported the expansion “as long as it is regulated/ controlled”, with a further 7% stating “if the environmental impact is monitored/ studied”.
Dr Main noted 90% of respondents consider that “there should be strong controls on the industry to protect the environment” and said the State Government has recently enacted one of the recommendations of last year’s Senate Inquiry, namely transferring regulation from DPIPWE to the EPA.
“We are, however, concerned that 35% of respondents are worried the industry “creates too much waste and pollutes Tasmanian waterways””.
“The industry is very proud of its environmental record and the efforts it makes to minimise any environmental footprint, and large quantities of sustainability information is made publicly available in real time and in formal reporting”.
“The fact that some people are worried about a perception that is not based on fact, or supported by science means industry can do a better job of communicating our sustainability information.” Dr Main said.
Dr Main noted there were of course people (17%) opposed to the expansion of the industry, the reason cited most frequently was the “environmental impact/ pollution”.
A small proportion stated they were “unhappy with the expansion/ current plans/ locations” (13%), that the industry was “expanding too rapidly/ already enough” (9%), and that it “should go offshore/ further out” (8%).
“Overall we are happy with the level of support for the industry in the community, it shows that Tasmanians see Atlantic salmon products as adding to the state’s reputation.
“It is clear from these findings that the industry has a social licence to keep operating and expand, provided continuing independent regulatory oversight is maintained.” Dr Main said.
For more information contact Richard Gerathy on 0419 203 075.