JBS-owned salmon farmer Huon is responsible for 20 of the 25 seal deaths reported by Tasmania's salmon industry to the state since January 2021, a report from Australia's Department of Natural Resources and Environment shows.
The company said it used more explosives than its competitors because about two-thirds of its salmon is produced at offshore sites where seals are more prevalent, according to The Guardian.
The news site said the information disclosed shows Huon Aquaculture used 1,887 explosives in the three months to the end of June, a rate of more than 20 a day. The company has used more than 10,600 since January 2021.
In Tasmania, fur seals are known to interact with marine farming operations, according to the state government. Four species of seal once bred in Tasmania's Bass Strait: the Australian fur seal, long-nosed fur seal, Australian sea lion, and the Southern Elephant seal.
Three of these species were totally eradicated and only the Australian fur seal now remains in Bass Strait, according to the Australian government, and this seal is now classified as a "threatened species in Tasmania," it said.
Under Australia's Seal Management Framework, seal deterrent devices may be deployed under permit to deter fur seals from presenting an unacceptable risk to marine farm staff or interfering with marine farming infrastructure or operations.
Seal crackers currently account for over 98 percent of seal deterrent devices deployed on marine farming leases.
Brazilian protein processing heavyweight JBS officially completed its 100 percent takeover of Australian salmon farmer in November 2021, with the latter delisting from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
JBS is not the only major group to move into Australian salmon farming. Canada-based seafood giant Cooke reached an agreement to acquire all outstanding shares in Australian salmon and shrimp farmer Tassal earlier this month.