Labor has slammed the suggestion that the Tasmanian salmon industry needs a moratorium on expansion in order to review the industries practices in light of new research.
The research, conducted by the Australia Institute Tasmania from over 1000 people, suggests that most Tasmanians (63 per cent) want a pause on expansion of salmon farms in Tasmania, and hold a widespread (63.5 per cent) concern that the health of Tasmania's coastal waters is declining.
More than one in two (56.3 per cent) Tasmanians agree the state government is not doing enough to protect the health of the state's oceans.
"Our research shows there is widespread community concern at the decline in health of Tasmania's coastal waters and a clear message to put a pause on the expansion of salmon farms in Tasmanian," said Eloise Carr, director of the Australia Institute Tasmania.
"There is clear appetite from Tasmanians for more government action on the health of our oceans, in fact our research shows most Tasmanians think the government isn't doing enough to protect the health of our ocean."
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Based off the research, the Australia Institute Tasmania is recommending the creationcomprehensive state-wide marine plan, a review into how the government manages marine policy and immediate moratorium on any further expansion of fish farming leases until the state-wide plan is adopted.
"Without a more comprehensive approach, Tasmanian industries which rely on a healthy ocean will begin to suffer and Tasmania's economic interests as a whole will suffer in the short to medium term," Ms Carr said.
"Despite the economic, environmental and cultural importance of Tasmania's coastal waters, current marine governance practices are problematic and lack integration across sectors, government departments and the catchment-coast-marine continuum
Labor spokesperson for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Water Shane Broad labelled the idea for a moratorium as "ridiculous".
"Labor does not support a moratorium. What we want to see is transparent regulation of the industry that is not based on misinformation and emotion but is based on fact," he said.
"The idea that you can shut down a billion dollar industry employing thousands of Tasmanians in regional areas and there will be no effect on the economy is ridiculous."
A Liberal Party spokesperson said that the party envisaged the salmon industry as a world leader in environmentally sustainable practice.
"It is our vision that the Tasmania salmon industry will be the most environmentally sustainable salmon industry in the world," they said.
"The industry is well regulated, and we have taken action since coming to government to strengthen that regulatory framework and increase transparency."
The Liberal Party confirmed that they planned to work with industry stakeholders to improve practices in the salmon industry.
"We will continue to improve environmental performance through industry driven innovation coupled with appropriate environmental monitoring and regulation," they said.
"We have a sustainable industry growth plan for the salmon industry which outlines how government is supporting the industry to operate sustainably."
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