Salmon: A Water-Borne Form Of Feedlot Farming Paul Healy
Salmon farming is merely a water-borne form of factory farmed, feed lot based, mega-mass stock rearing - one that is confined within netted cages - rather than by rails and fences.
It has all of the same familiar issues of potential pollution of waterways from fish effluent; risks of exotic disease outbreaks and introduction of organisms which could be catastrophic for local wild fisheries; reliance on all processed pellet, non-natural feed for the fish; loss of local amenity and a loss of local traditional community recreational resource use and access to once community owned, open-use areas of what become long-lease, single-use parts of our natural coastline and waterways.
Mega-scaled factory-farming of salmon risks a major, longer-term build up of effluent and pollution with a potential to affect not only our local water quality - impacting on sea grass meadows and locally prized and loved estuarine fish species such as flathead - but also increasing the risk of seasonal outbreaks of toxic algal blooms which can poison Tasmania's local shellfish stocks, fishing haunts, swimming beaches, and ever-warming waterways.
Such super-penned rearing of thousands of fish being crammed into a limited, netted, strictly confined, industrialised mass rearing space is an absolutely non naturally-sustainable industry.
It is just another form of that greed-driven factory-farming which has brought - world wide - so many wider social impacts to offset any employment gains which such industries may bring for a narrow sector of the local economy.
A massive expansion of this salmon factory farming industry beyond its present size and scale might increase local employment within that particular industry, but at what future cost to the much larger, state wide, ever growing employment opportunities and security for our clean food and wilderness based tourist industry, across Tasmania?
What happens to our billion dollar reputation as the clean and green, fine food and wine, pristine wilderness destination - world wide - if a rapid escalation of factory-scale salmon farming feeds a toxic algal outbreak which dramatically, visually, pollutes and renders unusable, for an entire tourist-supported summer, one of our most famous wilderness waterways?
Has the Tasmanian government really thought through the risks?
In a world of instant world-wide social media image transfer, what happens when a coming summer record heat wave combines with ever-rising Tasmanian coastal water temperatures to create a damming "red tide" image of poisoned waters, an image then transmitted by tourist cameras, across the globe, within moments of its being witnessed by our overseas visitors?
What form of denial-based damage control might the Tasmanian government then undertake - to try to restore a possibly irretrievably damaged Tasmanian "clean-green" brand and reputation - should some of our best loved, internationally renowned, rivers, bays and estuaries be damaged by the same possible salmon-farm-pollution-driven event which also poisons our locally fished, naturally grown, seafood supplies?
Is there not even one person serving - within this present Tasmanian government - with any kind of real vision for the future?
Do they have any real idea of the utterly economically catastrophic future risk of damage to our international brand which they are possibly promoting, with such a sudden, rapid, radical expansion of the salmon factory-farming industry?