Several protests around Tasmania over the weekend were held to force the salmon industry to be more transparent and the state government to take a lead, an organiser says.
Around 400 protesters engaged in "paddle-outs" at Scamander, Stanley, Dodges Ferry, Lauderdale and Sandy Bay over Saturday and Sunday to rally the state government and the Tasmanian salmon industry to make changes to the way it operates.
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Between them, 300 protesters turned out at Scamander and Stanley and protest organiser Bridget de Lange said people had attended from all over the state.
Ms de Lange said the paddle-outs were being well attended because there was a large number of Tasmanians who cared about regulation for the salmon industry and felt empowered in the wake of a rising state-based and national conversation.
She said being able to express themselves in large groups of people enabled them to have a voice that otherwise would not be heard.
Ms de Lange said the protestors understood the importance and significance of salmon farming in Tasmania but questioned current regulatory frameworks.
"We just want it regulated - the density of stock, blatant disregard for debris, no follow-ups, no fines - they're trashing the ocean," she said.
Protest attendee Tasmanian Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the paddle-outs sent a clear message.
"The community don't have rust in the salmon farm industry or the government to do the right thing and want a moratorium on all new fish farm expansions," he said.
"Without proper regulation that sustains our local marine environment, the industry has got no hope of supporting our communities into the future."
A Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association spokesperson said the industry respected the need for people to participate in peaceful demonstrations.
"We have been in touch with the organisers and offered to meet with them to discuss their concerns, to share further information from world leading IMAS and CSIRO scientists, and to invite them to see first-hand our farming operations. We are open to discussion and hope that they will take us up on this offer," they said.
"Like the people who participated in this event and like the organisers, the salmon industry shares their respect and care for the oceans."
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