1 November 2016
Tassal stands behind science of sustainable salmon farming
The ABC’s Four Corners program made certain false and misleading statements about
the sustainability and transparency of the Tasmanian salmon industry, Tassal managing
director and chief executive officer Mark Ryan said.
“It is disappointing that a proper consideration of the relevant science was the first
casualty of the story. It is also disappointing that a competitor’s directed scientific
research, only on its leases, were presented as evidence of the sustainability of the
whole of Macquarie Harbour,” he said.
“We have advised Spring Bay Seafoods and have stated publically and unequivocally that
Tassal will not be developing any leases in Mercury Passage. Our science, which we have
been conducting for the last two years, supports a sustainable Salmon farming operation
in Okehampton Bay.”
Mr Ryan said the Four Corners program also referenced the industry’s feed ingredients.
“FSANZ has advised Tassal that, as Astaxanthin is an additive to the feed given to farmed
fish, there is no labelling requirement in the Food Standards Code that would apply,” he
“The important point to note is that the Astaxanthin is safe for people and safe for fish.”
Mr Ryan said that Tassal had previously made a number of public statements about the
sustainability of its operations, its compliance with regulatory requirements and the
sincerity with which it engaged with scientists and environmental groups to continually
improve its practices.
“Four Corners relied on a single, competitor directed research study to draw
generalisations about Tassal’s and wider operations in Macquarie Harbour,” he said.
“Four Corners has disregarded Tassal’s independent science and the reputation of
Tassal and its employees, and has misled consumers, investors and the Tasmanian
“These statements were not made lightly, and are backed up by independently
generated, peer reviewed science and respected professional organisations such as the
Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
“Tassal has been certified to ASC for over three years at all its farming locations.”
Mr Ryan reiterated Tassal’s commitment to improving its farming practices, protecting
Tasmania’s marine environment, supporting its employees and producing a healthy
premium and food safe product for consumers.
“I also acknowledge the media’s important role in conveying accurate and complete
information to the public in a fair and balanced way, and this aligns with our ethos of
accountability and transparency,” he said.
“However, I am at a loss as to why Four Corners deliberately focused on a scare
campaign which largely relied on anecdotal evidence and the beliefs of our commercial
competitor in an attempt to make a case against Tassal and the Tasmanian salmon
Mr. Ryan said that WWF-Australia is a highly respected and trusted environmental
organisation. In all our dealings with WWF-Australia they have conducted themselves
with a high degree of integrity and in a trusted and most professional way.
Tel: 6210 5206 or 0418 538 865
Tassal Group Limited (ASX: TGR) is a vertically integrated salmon grower and salmon
and seafood processor, seller and marketer. The Company produces and sells premium
salmon and seafood products for both the Australian domestic and export
markets. Tassal grows delicious, fresh and healthy Atlantic salmon in Tasmania’s fresh
waters and through its De Costi Seafood business sources and processes a wide range of
seafood. Tassal is committed to taking a leadership role in sustainability in aquaculture
and seafood sourcing. The company employs more than 1,200 people. Visit
www.tassal.com.au for more information.