In May 2022 The Tasmanian Legislative Council published the report on its comprehensive Fin Fish Inquiry… a parliamentary investigation into the Tasmanian Salmon Industry which has been operating since the 1980s. 68 recommendations were tabled in parliament as part of this report, and the most promising was Recommendation 3. The Government’s response to the recommendation was not supportive, but for the health of Tasmania’s precious waterways, advocacy groups from across the State, and now the globe, are working to make sure that recommendation, and the report, don’t sit on a shelf. Support the campaign to have the Tasmanian government implement Recommendation 3…..“To develop a plan, in consultation with industry, scientific and community stakeholders, to reduce inshore fin fish farming sites, with priority given to ceasing operations in sensitive, sheltered and biodiverse areas.”
Read the offical Letter from the Global Salmon Farming Resistance below or head straight to the letter writing campaign at sumofus.org
We, the undersigned, are contacting you with a warning: Be prepared for the worst.
Multi-national juggernaut Cooke Inc., is manoeuvring to buy Tassal, the last Tasmanian-owned Atlantic salmon producer.
Don’t be fooled by Cooke Inc.’s marketing. This is not a “ma and pa” operation. Cooke Inc. is the family-owned empire you don’t want in your waters or communities. Wherever Cooke Inc. operates — from North America to Chile to Scotland — communities, First Nations and local fisheries are struggling to co-exist with salmon farming.
Why? The public record for Cooke Inc. and their subsidiaries shows a long history of violations, environmental damage and a general disregard for regulations. We offer these highlights:
- Since 2000, according to Violation Tracker, Cooke Inc. and its subsidiaries have been fined almost US$13,000,000 (~AUD$20,000,000) for environmental, workplace health and safety, false claims and financial violations under US law.
- Pleaded GUILTY* to criminal charges for the use of a nationally banned pesticide, Cypermethrin, and fined CAD$500,000 (2013 New Brunswick, Canada). *Kelly Cove Salmon is a subsidiary of Cooke Inc. Link to CBC story
- Found NEGLIGENT in the collapse of an entire salmon farm in Puget Sound, resulting in a US$332,000 penalty settlement (2017 Washington State, USA). The event led to a phase out plan banning Atlantic salmon open net pen aquaculture in Washington state. Industry media coverage of the event
- FAILED to report the shooting deaths of five seals, carcasses of which were discovered by tourists, and fined £2,000 (2018 Basta Voe, Scotland) Scottish News Media Coverage
- FRAUDULENT filings and repeated violations^ of the U.S. Clean Water Act and fined US$400,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (2021 USA). ^Omega Protein is a subsidiary of Cooke Inc.
- CHARGES FILED for NON-COMPLIANCEŧ with environmental regulations by the Superintendency of the Environment of Chile (2021 Chile). ŧ Since 2021, Cooke has been cited for nine environmental breaches in three different facilities. Industry media coverage of the event
We offer these testimonies from some of our members so that you and Premier Jeremy Rockliff and Minister Jo Palmer, may better know how Cooke Aquaculture may perform as a new neighbour:
“While operating in Washington state, Cooke Aquaculture Pacific habitually used litigation and legal threats to avoid accountability for violating environmental laws and to influence the decision-making process of legislators, government officials, and members of the public. I hope Tasmania will not make the same mistake as Washington.”
–Emma Helverson, Wild Fish Conservancy, United States
“Cooke Aquaculture Inc. refuses to acknowledge the serious problems created in the environment by their operations.”
–Robert Otto, Atlantic Salmon Federation, Canada
“Coastal communities are subjected to broken equipment scattered on beaches, the noise of feeders and generators day and night, the displacement of traditional fishing grounds, and an utter lack of transparency regarding on-site operations. Beneath the surface, huge buildups of fish feed and faeces create local dead zones. This industry has been a disaster here and Cooke Aquaculture Inc. is at the helm.”
– Simon Ryder-Burbidge, Ecology Action Centre, Canada
“We spent two years investigating the global open net pen salmon farming industry for a book, Salmon Wars: The Dark Underbelly of Our Favourite Fish. We found several incidents involving Cooke Aquaculture Inc.’s practices that are drawn directly from court records, government documents, and a published video in the case of the hatchery.”
–Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz, investigative journalists and authors, Canada
“Cooke Inc. should be renamed Crook due to their appalling track record of illegal chemical use, welfare abuse, mass mortalities and infectious diseases. Cooke Inc.’s salmon farms have spread like a malignant cancer around the world and must be ripped out. ”
–Don Staniford, $camon $cotland, UK
Around the world open ocean net-pen salmon farming is condemned by a growing number of communities, scientists, investigative journalists, First Nations groups, environmentalists, and even salmon industry professionals. In eighteen months alone, open net-pen salmon farming has been banned in Argentina and Washington State, USA, rejected in the Falkland Islands, with plans to phase it out in British Columbia, Canada.
Tasmania, we stand with you and we urge Premier Jeremy Rockliff and Minister Jo Palmer to act – now. Get the Pens out before Tasmania gets Cooked.
To safeguard your inshore public waters, now is the time to implement Recommendation no. 3 of the Tasmanian Legislative Council Fin Fish Enquiry Report: “To develop a plan, in consultation with industry, scientific and community stakeholders, to reduce inshore fin fish farming sites, with priority given to ceasing operations in sensitive, sheltered and biodiverse areas.”
The GSFR is an alliance of individuals, communities and organisations from countries all over the globe working towards an end to unsustainable ocean-based net pen salmon farming.