Today, racers were welcomed to the mouth of the Derwent River by a huge banner on the Ironpot lighthouse reading “TOXIC SALMON”. They will also be joined by a flotilla of yachts flying “TOXIC” flags and concerned Tasmanians were at the docks to highlight the very real threat of the ever-expanding salmon industry to Storm Bay and Tasmania’s unique coastline. A life size seal made entirely out of marine debris that has washed up from the industrial salmon farms was also towed around the docks.
Storm Bay, just to the south of Hobart and the Derwent River mouth, is an iconic stretch of water and is the final leg of the Sydney to Hobart race. Depending on conditions, racers often have to tack across the full width of Storm Bay to make the narrow entrance into the Derwent. But soon this bay will be full of fish farms.
“Over 1,000 hectares of leases are granted for the industrial salmon industry to expand into Storm Bay. This is an industry with a reputation for polluting the marine environment, not listening to community feedback, shedding mountains of marine debris, and a scandal where two scientists quit over the Storm Bay lease approvals” said Alistair Allan, Campaigner at the Bob Brown Foundation. “It seems the toxic salmon industry is not content with only destroying Tasmania’s marine environment, the industry now has its sights set on ruining the Sydney to Hobart yacht race as well."
“Do racers really want to have to navigate around these industrial feedlots on the final leg of the race? Doesn’t this detract from the feeling of sailing through a beautiful wild bay? We are asking racers, sailors, surfers and all who love our wild oceans and rivers to join us in defending the marine environment and Tasmania’s unique coasts. Not only will the Storm Bay expansion ruin the Sydney to Hobart, it will ruin the whole marine environment altogether.”