Tasmania's Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is considering its next steps in addressing findings in a report released earlier this year suggesting that salmon farming in the Long Bay area of Port Arthur is contributing to an increase in algal blooms in the region.
Australian shrimp and salmon farmer Tassal operates salmon farm in the region. Activist groups in the area are calling for the relocation of the farms in order to protect the region's environment.
“Port Arthur is not a suitable site for salmon farms. You cannot cherry pick around the results. There is enough evidence to say it is time for Tassal to exit Long Bay,” said Sheenagh Neill of the activist group Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection.
Earlier this month, the EPA confirmed it had received a final report from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) regarding what it called "nuisance algae" in Port Arthur, reported the Tasmania Times.
The EPA commissioned IMAS to undertake surveys of reef ecosystems in Long Bay and across the broader Port Arthur region.
The report outlines findings from surveys in January and June 2021. External scientific peer review of the report is underway.
Port Arthur is located on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania, Australia, and is approximately 60 miles southeast of Hobart. The area is part of the Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage property consisting of 11 remnant penal sites originally built by the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries.
This year, Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture made two separate offers to acquire Tassal, both of which were rebuffed by the company.
Undeterred, Cooke has since been slowly increasing its shareholding in the salmon farmer, and on July 19 saw its stake creep past 10 percent. So far Cooke has spent AUD 92.9 million (€63.5 million/$65.2 million) on acquiring stock in the company.
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