Members of Tasmanian fish farm advisory panel quit after greenlighting salmon farm

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Professor Barbara Nowak, Louise Cherrie and Lia Morris have resigned from eight-person Marine Farm Review Panel.

Professor Barbara Nowak (an expert in aquatic animal health) Louise Cherrie (an environmental management professional) and Lia Morris (CEO of Marine and Safety Tasmania) have quit the board reponsible for greenlighting 30,000 tonnes of farmed salmon operations in Storm Bay, Tasmania (Australia) according to ABC.

Tasmania’s Primary Industries Minister, Guy Barnett, received a letter from Professor Barbara Nowak and Louise Cherrie, outlining their reasons for resigning but has refused to explain why they quit.

Morris did not was not listed as being part of the decision-making for the Huon and Tassal expansion approvals.

The publication said that the resignations may have been in protest over the process for approving an expansion of salmon farming in Storm Bay.

In August, the MFRP approved proposals by Tassal (360 hectares) and Huon Aquaculture (330 hectares) to farm new waters in Storm Bay. Petuna Aquaculture, the third major player in the aquaculture industry in Tasmania, also has applications in front of the MFRP for a significant salmon farming operation in Storm Bay covering 430 hectares.

The medium-term goal for the three companies is to produce 40,000 tonnes a year from Storm Bay, according to the Department of Primary Industries. However, long term, the goal will be to reach a total production of 80,000 tonnes per annum.

That alone would would account for 150 per cent of the current total output of Tasmania’s salmon industry – which is 52,000 tonnes according to ABC.