C029077-R1-30-30A (1)

EPBC Act review of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour

TISC Calls for UNESCO Action on Macquarie Harbour Environmental Crisis


About TISC

lutruwita/Tasmania is a state of change, with deep environmental and cultural roots. Science and policy are needed to protect our state as it evolves. 


We work across Tasmania's environment, focussing on forests and fire, freshwater and oceans. 


We engage with the public debate on policy and science through hosting events. 

Our Work

The Tasmanian Independent Science Council is dedicated to science-based policy reform to ensure the long-term health of Tasmania’s critical environments. We are composed of scientists and relevant professionals who are a source of independent, non-government advice.


Our goals are to:

  • Connect science to public policy;

  • Drive innovation in managing the use of Tasmania’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems; and

  • Engage community, business and political leaders to find and implement solutions to the challenges of environmental stewardship in lutruwita/Tasmania.


We seek to achieve these goals by compiling and synthesising research, producing papers on key issues, commissioning independent research, making submissions on legislative reforms and leading public debate through the media and events on the science-policy nexus.


We write reports, statements and submissions to legislative reviews. 

We engage with the media in order to lead the public debate on the science-policy nexus.

Connecting science and policy 

We are composed of scientist and professionals, with decades of experience in environmental science, policy and communication. 

February 2024

The operation of intensive salmon aquaculture in Macquarie Harbour since its expansion in 2012 has had severe impacts on Matters of National Environmental Significance that are protected under the EPBC Act. Based on the evidence set out below, we strongly recommend that the 2012 decision to enable the expansion of marine farming in Macquarie Harbour, on the basis that it was Not a Controlled Action if undertaken in a Particular Manner, be revoked and substituted with a new decision. This activity has resulted in significant degradation of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area values and has also been a major factor in the precipitous decline in the population of the now critically endangered Maugean skate.


April 2024

In response to urgent appeals by environmental groups and the Tasmanian Independent Science Council (TISC), UNESCO has contacted the Albanese government to address the severe impacts of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour that threaten the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and the endangered Maugean skate. TISC's recent letter to UNESCO underscores the Australian government’s critical failure to conduct thorough environmental assessments and calls for immediate measures to protect the area’s unique ecosystem. Aquaculture licences are currently under review by Minister Tanya Plibersek.

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