Imagine a world where abundant clean water flows.
Where everyone shares adequate energy from the sun and wind.
A world where forests, rivers, oceans, and wildlife and people thrive.
A tomorrow even more beautiful than today.
This is the world we want to help create.
Macquarie Harbour Fish Farm Update
War on Waste
The War on Waste has awoken many of us to the tragic side of plastic. But Jack and Jude are no-strangers to this. These last fifty years we’ve been seeing increasing human trash on the shores and seas, and on very isolated isles and atolls. Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising that we’ve been rising the alarm about plastic fish farm trash in Macquarie Harbour, which is a very special case for several reasons. One is that it’s World Heritage, an area of significance legally protected by international treaties. And secondly, it’s a nearly closed body of water that little escapes. And that’s an interesting point. What we are finding in Macquarie Harbour illustrates just how much plastic waste escapes from fish farm leases. What we see in that nearly landlocked harbour represents what is escaping from all the other farm leases and gets washed away into the wider seas. Of the fish farms In Macquarie Harbour, Tassal have been in operation since 1986. We’ll get to that in a moment.
Macquarie Harbour Farms Represents All Fish Farms
Shifting attention to Macquarie Harbour with its insidious problem of fish farm ropes breaking down into micro-plastic, we received an update from the head of Tassal’s Aquaculture, Mr. Mark Asman.
In an email he told us that he’d gone to Macquarie Harbour and walked the shores of Brisbane Bay at the location of our last expose on Fish Farm Trash, and had seen various pieces of debris. And that he has been told the amount of debris is declining (with each successive effort), but it needs continuous effort to get where we want.
He wrote, “So the plan will be to 1. Keep on the culture side by “stopping it at the source” (we think this is having a real impact, just takes time) , 2. Continue the regular shore line clean ups by the staff and others and 3. Working on a solution like you mention, a permanent crew to walk the shore lines…I hope to have more clarity on this when you return.”
That sounds encouraging. And we sure hope it happens and is not just illusory promises. Mark has been talking about “changing the culture” from our very first conversation.
In replying to Mark’s email, we pointed out that Tassal has been in the fish farming business since 1986. That’s thirty-three years. And that Tassal employs 1261 people. We know many and they are good people who work hard to produce farmed salmon at approximately 20 leases in six regional areas within Tasmania. Tassal is a public company listed on the ASX. In 2017, Tassal earned a NET profit of A$58.08 million, that’s the net increase in shareholders’ equity.
Tassal prides itself on not only what it produces but how it produces it. Check out their website. “Our consumers can be confident that the Tassal Salmon has been raised by an environmentally and socially responsible company.” In July last year, Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries (DPIPWE) introduced a “zero tolerance” for marine debris. And that for a company claiming such high environmental standards, achieving “zero tolerance” for marine debris should rank above all else.
In our email to Mark, we mentioned that what we recorded in Macquarie Harbour these last couple of years would have been going on for many years at every fish farm lease. The difference? – All that trash floated away across the oceans.
And we had some proactive suggestions to reduce fish farm trash:
- permanent crew walking the shores collecting trash
- lengthened the soft eye net ropes so they can be secured to the pens – many blow away.
- filter out the micro-algae when cleaning the nets instead of releasing it to drift round the harbour (the gunge)
- filter out the molluscs when cleaning the nets instead of releasing them back into the harbour.
First Community Harbour Clean Up – April 2017
Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted
Ice blocks frozen solid for thousands of years destabilized –
‘The climate is now warmer than at any time in last 5,000 years’
Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared.
A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilised the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia.
“What we saw was amazing,” Vladimir Romanovsky, a professor of geophysics at the university, told Reuters. “It’s an indication that the climate is now warmer than at any time in the last 5,000 or more years.“
Clean energy found to be a ‘pathway to prosperity’ for Northern Territory
Renewable energy is not only a money-spinner for the NT, it can also help the fossil fuel industries expand, a new report says
It says the NT economy could be transformed through incentives for renewable-powered manufacturing and downstream minerals processing, targets for mines to transition to 100% clean energy and electric machinery by 2030 and support for Indigenous communities to be equity partners in zero-carbon developments. It calls on the NT and federal governments to fund common infrastructure to turn what is known as the 10-gigawatt vision into a reality – for example, transmission lines connecting Darwin and Alice Springs to allow clean energy developments in remote locations.
Eytan Lenko, chairman of the thinktank Beyond Zero Emissions, commissioned the report while living in Darwin in 2018 after seeing divisions in the community between people concerned about the health of the economy and those opposed to fracking. He says the full plan would cost businesses about $20bn out to 2030 on today’s prices, though the scale of the investment is expected to fall as clean tech becomes cheaper. It estimates it could create more than 8,000 jobs and yield more than $2bn in annual export revenue.
Bill Shorten may not be the leader we need
Geoff Cousins reveals how Bill Shorten wavered on Adani mine
Opposition leader assured environmentalist he would commit Labor to revoking the licence for the controversial coal project, but then faltered
The businessman and environmentalist Geoff Cousins is absolutely unequivocal.
He said the federal Labor leader Bill Shorten called him, just before Christmas last year, looking for help in how Labor might strengthen its policy on the controversial Adani coalmine – and then Shorten followed up several times since, asking to be given more time to convince colleagues to support the shift in position.
Read More Here This article indicates that Mr. Shorten lacks the credentials and punch to convince his colleges that stopping the Adani Mine is an election winning strategy. His answer on the issue is no longer that labour will not allow Adani to proceed, and has shifted to, when in government we will review all details and make the decision then.
Jack and Jude hope we find a strong political leader who is able to bring party support to this highly contentious situation. Does Australia allow the largest deposit of fossil fuel be developed and burnt on planet Earth for the return of export dollars. Or do we stand firm in the belief that we can find the financial return in other endeavors. We must weigh up the consequences, and resulting costs, of burning all that fossil fuel on the world’s environment. More Barrier Reef losses, more intense fires, less rain for crops.