Misinformed and Irresponsible- Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS)
You may have seen in the news recently that the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has downgraded Atlantic Salmon from an Amber, ‘Think Twice’ rating to a Red, ‘Say-No’ in their Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide.
I just wanted to take a moment to provide you with some facts about the AMCS and their relationship with the salmon industry,
The salmon industry has been asking the AMCS for 5 years to-
a) visit the industry here in Tasmania to see first hand what is happening… to no avail; and
b) to provide details of the criteria it is applying against all our operations – Being silent on the criteria raises questions about AMCS transparency with its stakeholders.
“it is hard if the goal posts keep shifting, but its even harder if their are no goal posts to aim for”
So its no surprise that the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association (TSGA) is deeply concerned at the misinformed and irresponsible assessment made by the AMCS.
TSGA CEO Dr Adam Main said the assessment failed to factor in substantial improvements and investments made by all three companies during the past 12-months, which have demonstrated environmental improvements.
“All three companies in the past 12-months have ramped up their investment into infrastructure, environmental programs and biosecurity protocols, which have been well documented and well recognised,” he said.
“This includes substantial investments into seal-proof infrastructure across companies, to the tune of more than $160 million between them; investments into multi-trophic farming to reduce environmental impacts and substantial funding of marine debris partnerships to further reduce impacts in waterways,” he said.
“Stocking levels in Macquarie Harbour are at very conservative levels and the environment continues to be monitored closely, both by the industry and independent scientists. Biosecurity protocols have been put in place and this has not been acknowledged at all.
“All companies in the industry in Tasmania aspire for the highest standards of certification wherever possible and are recognised globally for achieving these. In fact 100% of the Tasmanian salmon industry is certified by a myriad of national and international environmental and sustainability programs. ”
“The farmers are looking to expand in the most exposed conditions farmed globally and have also implemented in areas where they currently farm world-leading water quality monitoring systems and processes.”
Dr Main said there was a great deal of misinformation regarding the issue in the public domain and was disappointed to hear the AMCS state it had been in contact with lobby groups against the industry in Tasmania – whilst not adequately consulting with the industry or independent peak science bodies.
“Failure to appropriately consult or research the science leads to poor representation and misleading information.”
“For an industry which generates thousands of jobs in Tasmania and strongly supports regional communities in the State, it is disappointing when facts are not represented.”
“I would be happy to speak to AMCS directly to provide them with factual information.”