The outrageous, ongoing, deliberate killing of native seals by Tasmania’s Atlantic salmon industry is about to be spread by the state and federal Liberal governments into Australia’s most vital seal breeding grounds in Bass Strait, says Bob Brown Foundation.
“According to the Tasmanian Inquirer, seals are being killed at a rate of nearly two a month. It is likely that hundreds more are being blinded, or otherwise wounded by explosive devices, with Tasmania’s captured environmental authorities agreeing to the cruelty and bloodshed,” Bob Brown said in Hobart today.
The Tasmanian government’s own wildlife information includes: “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. Approximately 17,000 pups are born each year at both Tasmanian and Victorian breeding colonies and the total Australian fur seal population is estimated to be 60,000 to 80,000. Prior to the exploitation of the sealing industry, there was an estimated three-quarters of a million seals in Bass Strait.”
The same site says human beings are the seals’ greatest predators.
“Now, into this fractured cradle of Australian seals, long before they have been able to recover from the historic slaughter, the Liberal Rockcliff government is letting loose the killer aquaculture factory industry with its ammunition, ready to slaughter more seals. Very likely the Bass Strait death and maiming rate will be a multiple of that already occurring in Tasmania’s southern waters. This is all approved by Sussan Ley and the Morrison government. The industrial fish farm corporations have these governments violating every good environmental principle when it comes to protecting our native seal colonies,” Bob Brown said.
Morrison’s Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Jonathon Duniam, has said that the Bass Strait trial represented an exciting opportunity for the aquaculture industry.
“The Blue Economy CRC are well equipped to conduct the trial, given their research expertise in offshore sustainable aquaculture," he said.
Which immediately raises this question for Duniam: “where is the Blue Economy CRC’s expertise on the seal killing? Put that on the table so the public, whose tax dollars are propping up this Bass Strait venture, can see if you have a leg to stand on,” Brown said.