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Media Release 24/3/2021
Environment Tasmania report into Tasmanian fish farming industry.

Today Environment Tasmania have released a report into widespread animal cruelty being perpetrated against free-living species of animals, including seals and birds, at fish farm leases throughout Tasmania.

The report includes damning evidence of multiple killings of seals during sedation, seals drowning entangled in nets, as well as use of explosive deterrents at close range. One seal was reportedly killed after a bean-bag deterrent fired at them became lodged in their eye. Seals have become trapped in unstocked pens where they have starved to death, and other seals have been found deceased underwater having become entangled days earlier. Seals have also been found crushed in farm infrastructure, and numerous birds have been killed in netting including the mass deaths of 24 black-faced cormorants found suspended in bird netting in 2019. And a number of dolphins have been found deceased in leases.

This report comes as no surprise to Animal Liberation Tasmania. Fish farming is nothing more than the battery farming of fishes, akin to the chicken farming or feedlot farming industries, and is wholly exploitative on every level. That widespread animal cruelty is being perpetrated not only to the fishes slaughtered by these companies but also against free-living species (for whom these waterways are a home) is entirely to be expected.

What is most concerning is that the information revealed by Environment Tasmania is based purely on the system of industry self-reporting that is enabled by the Tasmanian Liberal Government. There is no independent supervision.
The mounting body of evidence against the factory fish farming system established in Tasmania’s waterways cannot continue to be ignored. Animal Liberation Tasmania call upon elected representatives in this state to act immediately to:

  1. Create an independent body overseeing and with the authority to investigate animal welfare matters in Tasmania;
  2. To open an inquiry into animal cruelty and environmental degradation caused by the factory fish farming industry; and
  3. To shut down fish farming in Tasmania’s waterways for the protection of free-living species as well as farmed fish species.

We condemn the exploitation of all animals, and we condemn industries whose very operations are dependent upon the slaughter of and cruelty to animals, whether those animals are held within the pens or live in the habitats without.

Kristy Alger
Animal Liberation Tasmania
0422 106 986