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May 21, 2015
The fish were owned by Petuna Seafoods and were killed by low oxygen levels, brought on by storm surges earlier this month.
It is believed the storm activity prompted unusual salt levels inside Petuna’s fish pens on May 6.
The deaths have been described as the biggest single fish kill in Tasmania’s history.
Petuna Seafoods’ chief executive Mark Porter said 3.7per cent of the company’s total salmon stocks were lost.
‘‘It was a low-pressure system combined with high winds. We haven’t seen this since 2006,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a one-off event. No other company or lease was affected.’’
Petuna Seafoods will hold an investigation before week’s end to determine the exact number of fish killed in the incident.
Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff said appropriate action had been taken by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment and the Environmental Protection Authority.
Environment Tasmania chief executive Charlie Sherwin believes the deaths could have been avoided, however.
‘‘It’s time for the salmon industry to shrink back to pre-expansion levels in Macquarie Harbour to give the fish and other marine life a break,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s not enough to just try and manage an over-expanded industry.’’
The Tasmanian Greens are expected to push on with their bid for a senate inquiry into Tasmanian salmon industry following the deaths.
Petuna Seafood’s Macquarie Harbour operation has returned to normal.
Source: The Examiner