Comments for the ACF Community submission are now closed

Comments for the ACF community submission are now closed.

However, comments via the Australian Government's consultation hub remain open until Friday 2 February. Use the talking points on this page and send your message directly to the government!


The Maugean skate is crashing towards extinction from the impacts of industrial salmon farming in its only home of Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania.

Without urgent intervention this marine ray that’s as old as the dinosaurs is likely to disappear forever.

In 2012 the Environment Minister of the day decided salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour didn’t need assessment and approval under Australia’s nature laws. The Maugean skate needs Tanya Plibersek to revoke that decision and declare it does require assessment under Australia’s nature laws, as the first step to getting the skate the emergency relief it needs.

Add a comment and we’ll include it in an ACF Community submission to the government – comments close next week.


What to include in your comment

The minister can choose to reconsider the decision if she deems there is substantial new information about the impacts of salmon farming, or a substantial change in circumstances for the Maugean skate as a protected matter. Use these talking points to craft your comment:

  • The Maugean skate population in Macquarie Harbour has declined by 47% in seven years, between 2014 and 2021. The pace of the decline shows its vulnerability to environmental degradation and very few juveniles are reaching adulthood. This raises serious concerns about the species' survival if suitable conditions can’t be delivered.
  • New evidence confirms salmon farming’s impact on dissolved oxygen levels in Macquarie Harbour, and its contribution to the decline of Maugean skate populations and mass-skate death events.
  • Macquarie Harbour is now the only known location of the Maugean skate. It is highly likely it is the only home it has making it critical to its survival. Failing to address the threats to the skates from salmon farming will almost certainly lead to its extinction.
  • The Australian Government’s own Conservation Advice for the Maugean skate 'Substantial recent evidence indicates a high risk of extinction for the species in the near future'. and names the 'urgent priority' of 'Eliminating or significantly reducing the impacts of salmonid aquaculture on dissolved oxygen concentrations'.
  • The Albanese Government’s pledge to end extinctions demands that the Minister intervenes urgently by declaring salmon farming in Macquarie harbour a 'controlled action' requiring assessment under Australia’s nature laws.

 

Banner image: Salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour. Credit: Crbellete/Shutterstock.


Latest Supporters

Industrial salmon farming is destroying the Maugean skate. Please put in place laws that protect our native environment and our native animals.
Kate 2024-02-13 19:50:04 +1100
Please reduce and phase out salmon farming to help save the skate
Lisa 2024-02-12 18:27:40 +1100
It is tragic there is so little respect for earths creatures if economic factors are involved. Here should/ must be an alternate solution.
Wendy 2024-02-05 17:18:27 +1100
All fish farming needs assessment! The safety of food systems are paramount. PLEASE act responsibly.
Dana 2024-02-05 16:08:11 +1100
Any regulation focused on sustainability needs regulation. Not only do local indigenous groups need a quota reserved for their use, but Tasmanian salmon is among the best in the world, hence not only needs preserving for the Australian economy and Australian health. Labor has some stunning policies, but needs to be aware of "blind spots’
Robert 2024-02-05 12:35:31 +1100
The Maugean skate has lived for millennia in Macquarie Harbour, but is now under enormous threat of extinction. The greatest contributor to this is Salmon farming. Pollution from salmon pens cause dead zones underneath and tidal movement transfers this to the surrounding waterways. Yet the industry denies or minimises the impact. Very few jobs are directly related to the industry and the lucrative profits go overseas and not to Australia or Tasmania. I can see very little benefit at great cost to our environment and in particular the Maugean skate. Please arrange destocking and/or removal of salmon farming from Macquarie Harbour. Put it on shore.
Cheryl 2024-02-04 12:17:23 +1100
We have too many species heading to extinction unnecessarily. These skates need to be protected. The farming must be stopped in this area. It will be affecting other sea life too!
Glen 2024-02-01 19:30:15 +1100
Environmental impact should have been requested, now sadly, salmon farming will have to find a new home. A lesson hopefully learnt here.
Winsome 2024-02-01 17:38:47 +1100
Promises are promises. Give the skate a chance of survival.
Ian 2024-02-01 09:13:25 +1100
We MUST SAVE THIS SKATE
The salmon farms are destroying Tasmania’s environment and are a very cruel way to fish
Carolyne 2024-02-01 07:49:12 +1100
Environment Minister…please re-consider the health of the Maugean Skate in Tasmania regarding the impact of salmon farming on it’s fragile existence.
Thank you, Keith Reynolds, Bellingen N.S.W.
Keith 2024-02-01 07:43:17 +1100
We want to see the Skate survive. It is important.
Rod 2024-01-31 23:39:44 +1100
It’s a disgrace that such an environmentally damaging activity as large scale salmon farming is occurring outside the regulatory framework of the EPBC Act. The government’s own Conservation Advice and the report from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies provide evidence that the skate is sliding towards extinction. This is largely due to the adverse impacts of salmon farming in Macquarie Bay, the only place where the skate is found. The Minister needs to consider these documents as new information that has come to light since the original decision to allow salmon farming was made in 2012, and decide to refer salmon farming as a controlled action under the Act. Salmon farming in the bay will have to stop. This is the only way the skate will have a fighting chance of survival
Mitzi 2024-01-31 22:13:39 +1100
Minister Plibersek, I believe that when you read all of the facts relating to the possible extinction of the Maugean Skate , that you will act decisively and call an immediate halt to salmon farming in Macquairie Harbour. We lived in Strahan for four years in 2018 to 2022 and have holidayed there many times. On occasions Macquarie Harbour was deemed unsafe to swim in on certain days in summer. With the benefit of hindsight I think that the decision in 2012 by the Environment Minister deciding that assessment of salmon farming in the harbour under our nature laws was not required, needs to be re examined. Why was that decision made? Given that 12 years of farming has taken place it seems that there has been a deterioration in the health of Macquarie Harbour, so one would think that it would be irresponsible not to reassess the situation. There is a principle at stake here also. If we don’t do anything and the Maugean skate becomes extinct during our stewardship of the environment, again because of money, and we couldn’t be bothered, we look pretty bad.
Paul 2024-01-31 17:58:51 +1100
Pollution levels need to be measured and monitored to a sustainable level in the waters in and around salmon farms.
If not death and diseases will dwatroy the whole fishing industry in the area.
Tourism will be affected a d the precious Maugean Skate will sadly become extinct.
Wendy 2024-01-31 17:26:00 +1100
The minister can choose to reconsider the decision if she deems there is substantial new information about the impacts of salmon farming, or a substantial change in circumstances for the Maugean skate as a protected matter. Use these talking points to craft your comment:

The Maugean skate population in Macquarie Harbour has declined by 47% in seven years, between 2014 and 2021. The pace of the decline shows its vulnerability to environmental degradation and very few juveniles are reaching adulthood. This raises serious concerns about the species’ survival if suitable conditions can’t be delivered.
New evidence confirms salmon farming’s impact on dissolved oxygen levels in Macquarie Harbour, and its contribution to the decline of Maugean skate populations and mass-skate death events.
Macquarie Harbour is now the only known location of the Maugean skate. It is highly likely it is the only home it has making it critical to its survival. Failing to address the threats to the skates from salmon farming will almost certainly lead to its extinction.
The Australian Government’s own Conservation Advice for the Maugean skate ‘Substantial recent evidence indicates a high risk of extinction for the species in the near future’. and names the ‘urgent priority’ of ‘Eliminating or significantly reducing the impacts of salmonid aquaculture on dissolved oxygen concentrations’.
The Albanese Government’s pledge to end extinctions demands that the Minister intervenes urgently by declaring salmon farming in Macquarie harbour a ‘controlled action’ requiring assessment under Australia’s nature laws.
Lisa 2024-01-31 16:58:24 +1100
I am appalled, yet again, to hear that another native species is facing extinction due to the ruthless profit driven hands of man. Tassal salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania is not regulated and has devastated the ecosystem where these skates live. I have been there and seen the extent of these salmon pens.
The Maugean skate population in Macquarie Harbour has decreased by 47% in seven years, between 2014 and 2021.The pace of the decline shows its vulnerability to environmental degradation and very few juveniles are reaching adulthood. This raises serious concerns about the species’ survival if suitable conditions can’t be re-established.
New evidence confirms salmon farming’s impact on dissolved oxygen levels in Macquarie Harbour, and its contribution to the decline of Maugean skate populations and mass-skate death events.
Macquarie Harbour is now the only known location of the Maugean skate. It is highly likely it is the only home it has making it critical to its survival. Failing to address the threats to the skates from salmon farming will almost certainly lead to its extinction.
The Australian Government’s own Conservation Advice for the Maugean skate ‘Substantial recent evidence indicates a high risk of extinction for the species in the near future’. and names the ‘urgent priority’ of ‘Eliminating or significantly reducing the impacts of salmonid aquaculture on dissolved oxygen concentrations’.
The Albanese Government’s pledge to end extinctions demands that the Minister intervenes urgently by declaring salmon farming in Macquarie harbour a ‘controlled action’ requiring assessment under Australia’s nature laws.
We cannot wait to ACT!
In 2012 the Environment Minister of the day decided salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour didn’t need assessment and approval under Australia’s nature laws. The Maugean skate needs Tanya Plibersek to revoke that decision and declare it does require assessment under Australia’s nature laws, as the first step to getting the skate the emergency relief it needs.
PLEASE Use your powers to help this unique species survive and THRIVE in the only home it has. Commercial profit driven interests in the salmon farming industry there MUST NOT TAKE Preference over the protection of our native species !
PLEASE help to ensure this happens.
Thank You
Dr Sue 2024-01-31 14:31:11 +1100
There is growing evidence globally of the damage that salmon farming does to native fish and habitats – from Canada to Scotland (where I’m originally from). It causes disease, pollution and long-term damage – something which is being seen now, with the skate population declining by 47% in 7 years.

Please do the right thing and protect our and environment, wildlife and biodiversity. Once these are compromised, there is no going back.
Karen 2024-01-31 13:35:35 +1100
We have lost too many thru ignorance, leave their habitate for them to survive please?
Gail 2024-01-31 12:38:30 +1100
Suggest people read the book Toxic by Flannigan to understand the corruption and greed of the salmon industry & state government. Our environment is the least of their concerns.
Kim 2024-01-31 12:37:03 +1100
There is clear evidence that Salmon Farming pollutes and puts many native creatures at risk. Many sea creatures are being put at risk by this intensive Salmon farming, dredging and underwater exploration.
We need a realistic plan to protect the Maugean skate, migrating whales and Dolphins and many other creatures who are being impacted (some of whose we don’t even know)
Please stop this damage being done and ensure we do not allow any further destruction and extinction of our valuable sea creatures.

Kind regards
Suzie Don Leonard
Suzie 2024-01-31 12:34:41 +1100
The Maugean skate is crashing towards extinction from the impacts of industrial salmon farming in its only home of Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania. Our history since 1788 shows there has been hundreds of our unique flora fauna and sea creatures have become extinct , the Maugean Skate MUST NOT be one of them. The Minister for Environment announced in 2022 her Government had pledged to end extinction of our unique creatures.
karen 2024-01-31 12:32:38 +1100
Sylvia 2024-01-31 11:58:10 +1100
The decline in the Maugean skate population over 7 years, combined with new evidence of the negative impacts of salmon farming behoves the minister to reconsider the decision. It is likely there are other negative impacts on the marine environment from salmon farming, the skate is just the canary in the coal mine.
Russell 2024-01-31 11:57:36 +1100
Salmon farming pollutes the ocean which is also happening out from Port Lincoln …. Not acceptable !!!!!!
Judy 2024-01-31 11:45:37 +1100
Salmon farming is a disgrace
Robert 2024-01-31 11:36:23 +1100
Extinctions need to stop. Some things are more precious than making a profit at expense of the natural world.
Gilbert 2024-01-31 11:36:04 +1100
Rosemary 2024-01-31 11:35:42 +1100
Mauggean skate only have one home. Not hard to work out salmon farming should be banned altogether.
Please at least ban in Macquarie Harbour Tasmania
Susan 2024-01-31 11:13:51 +1100
Catherine 2024-01-31 11:11:25 +1100