The federal Environment Department has identified* the salmon farming industry as a clear threat to the endangered Maugean skate and the federal Environment Minister will ask the Tasmanian Government to take “extreme intervention to assist and avert its extinction”.
Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:
“The Greens have warned of the threats to the Maugean skate for years, and frustratingly little has been done by either state or federal governments to prevent it from becoming the thylacine of the sea.
“Regulation of Tasmania’s salmon farming industry has been a total disaster. Successive federal environment ministers have watched on as salmon industry regulators and the Tasmanian government fail spectacularly to protect and prioritise the environment, including matters of national environmental significance like the sad decline of the Maugean skate.
“The Albanese Government’s response to reports of this prehistoric species’ likely extinction is a critical test, especially in light of its high-profile zero extinction pledge.
“I’m glad the Minister is taking this matter seriously and calling on the Tasmanian Government to act, but history shows it is captured by the salmon industry and is unlikely to do so.
“The most important intervention needed to help save the Maugean skate from extinction is to finally end industrial salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour, period.
“Minister Plibersek has a critical mandate and the legal powers to compel action to protect the Maugean skate. She must be prepared to do absolutely everything possible on behalf of the Federal Government to stop this species from a preventable extinction.”
* Revealed in Senate Estimates, view the 17:25:00-17:26:00 mark of this clip.