Tassal, Petuna’s upcoming announcement has union fearing for security of aquaculture jobs
The union representing Tasmania’s salmon workers will receive a “comprehensive briefing” on Thursday about whether a major announcement from Tassal and Petuna will impact west coast jobs.
The two companies will release details of proposed changes to operations at Macquarie Harbour involving what they are calling “an industry-led biosecurity innovation”.
Tassal would not reveal any information until Thursday, citing trading concerns.
Australian Workers Union spokesman Robert Flanagan said he would seek assurance that jobs at Tassal and Petuna were secure.
“Currently, Tassal employs approximately 30 people in their marine operations, and Petuna employs about 50 people,” he said.
“We are not aware of any detail. That’s the purpose of meeting the company tomorrow — to find out what they intend to do going forward.”
‘Is Tassal walking away from Macqaurie Harbour?’
Environment Tasmania’s Laura Kelly is concerned Tassal will transfer its leases in Macquarie Harbour to Petuna as part of a PR exercise.
“Are they walking away and shifting the risk to Petuna, while still contracting to take the same tonnage from the harbour?” she said.
“It’s hard to know how there can be any benefit for the environment.”
In February, Petuna sacked 22 people from its fish-farming operations after disease killed off thousands of its fish in Macquarie Harbour.
In March, the Environment Protection Authority flagged almost halving the fish levels in Macquarie Harbour, reducing the biomass limit from 16,000 tonnes to 9,000.
The EPA spoke to all three salmon companies operating in the west coast harbour and will finalise a decision on the limit by the end of this month.