Salmon company Tassal has been found to have breached 19 Aquaculture Stewardship Council standards within its Macquarie Harbour operation, according to a recent audit.
The ASC said four of the compliance issues were major, ten were minor, and five were listed for observation.
The major breaches were centred on legal compliance, ecosystem function and community engagement.
A Tassal spokeswoman responded to the breaches by saying they constituted the same issues that the company had been working to resolve since January.
“Tassal has very good compliance across all its other sites and an adaptive management system in place to support a strong process of continuous improvement,” she said.
Environment Tasmania strategy director Laura Kelly said Tassal had 90 days to rectify these non-conformities before their accreditation is revoked.
“It is now up to the conservation group WWF, which has also been endorsing Tassal, to consider whether they will continue to take large amounts of money from a company that is breaking state laws and operates without regard for fish welfare, our World Heritage Area, or endangered species,” she said.
Greens marine environment spokeswoman Rosalie Woodruff said the audit also revealed that the company had failed to meet minimum fish welfare conditions, present mortality reports to auditors, and had no effective mechanism to handle community complaints.
“The ASC have found that Tassal is not only in breach of regulations, but is continuing to damage Macquarie Harbour, including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area,” she said.
“(Primary Industries) Minister (Jeremy) Rockliff’s ‘world’s best practice’ regulation of the fish farming industry is a farce, as the peak global audit body points out.”
Premier Will Hodgman said the government had taken action to provide a more robust regulatory environment and independent, scientific-based assessment.