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Activists claim marine heatwave on Tasmania’s east coast caused ‘salmon apocalypse’

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The Okehampton Bay fish farm. Image / Bob Brown Foundation

Environmentalists are claiming that thousands of fish have died at a salmon farm on Tasmania’s east coast and are now calling for it to be “permanently shut down”.

The Bob Brown Foundation has filmed dead fish being pumped out of a Tassal salmon farm near Triabunna, which they claim to have died because of a marine heatwave currently affecting the area.


The foundation’s Alistair Allan says rotting dead fish, partially eaten fish and algae were seen floating on the surface inside pens at the Okehampton Bay site.

“The harrowing images show not only rotting dead fish on the surface but also thousands and thousands of fish crammed into these pens with algae everywhere,” Allan said.

The Okehampton Bay fish farm. Image / Bob Brown Foundation

“Die-offs like this are simply unheard of in any other form of agriculture. It is simply not acceptable to have so many fish, crammed together in pens and dying en masse.”

“As climate change accelerates and Tasmania’s waters get warmer and warmer, this is going to become a constant issue.”

The Okehampton Bay fish farm. Image / Bob Brown Foundation

A Tassal spokesperson has confirmed they were dealing with a ‘minor mortality event’, but the exact number of dead fish remains undetermined.

The Environmental Protection Authority say they are aware of the incident and are working with Tassal to assess the extent of the impact.


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