31 Oct 2016


UPDATE - 3 Sept 2021: In December 2019, WWF-Australia commissioned an independent report to examine the circumstances surrounding the ecological impacts of expanded aquaculture operations in Macquarie Harbour. The report confirms there are ways that aquaculture certification can and should be reformed, particularly to account for cumulative impacts of multiple farms. It also found some impacts of aquaculture in Macquarie Harbour are beyond the scope of certification and need to be addressed through government regulatory reform. The report’s findings reinforce WWF-Australia’s submission and recommendations to the Tasmanian Upper House Enquiry on Fin Fish Farming in 2019. WWF-Australia will use this new independent report to continue to advocate for transformation in the aquaculture industry. Read the full statement and report here.

WWF-Australia tonight called on Tasmania’s salmon farmers to come together to ensure the highest possible international sustainability standards are applied to the entire industry as soon as possible.

Two of the three Tasmanian salmon farming companies are now certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. The industry has a positive future, but only if all farmers prioritise sustainable practices.

ASC certification is the highest standard for responsibly farmed seafood in the world. It provides consumers with an independent assurance that they are purchasing seafood from farms that protect the environment and communities. It is the most robust, transparent and independent system of assessment and certification.

WWF’s partnership with salmon farmer Tassal has delivered many improvements in practice to benefit the environment, including:

  • Halting the use of copper based anti-fouling agents for salmon-pen nets
  • 95% reduction in the use of antibiotics
  • 30% reduction in the reliance on wild fish for salmon food
  • Becoming the first company in the world to receive ASC certification across its entire salmon farm operation in 2014.

These have been important gains and we are looking now to industry to achieve the following improvements, including:

  • 100% ASC certification across the industry within 12 months
  • Eliminate wild fish feed in salmon aquaculture as a long term goal
  • An agreed plan to monitor and manage cumulative impacts of the industry
  • Better management of interactions with seals
  • Stronger advocacy from industry on the need to protect the wider marine environment around Tasmania

WWF has a long track record of working with industry to help them adopt the highest standards of protection for the environment and wildlife. That is why we are working with salmon farmers in Tasmania.

Engaging with business is a proven conservation model.

For example, the formation of the Forestry Stewardship Council more than 20 years ago was controversial. But since then, more than 190 million hectares of managed forest has been certified by FSC, with a multitude of positive outcomes for biodiversity, forest degradation, empowerment of local communities, workers’ safety and legal compliance.