Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

21 September 2017

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

Seal relocations to end in Tasmania by Christmas

The Hodgman Liberal Government has listened to the community and the relocation of seals from fin fish farms will end by Christmas.

Increasing numbers of relocations in recent years have impacted on recreational fishers and ceasing the practice will be welcomed.

Seal relocations were instigated by the former Labor Government and have become a routine measure to manage seals over the past 15-years.

Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in seal relocations with more than 1000 relocated last calendar year and more than 1900 relocations this year to date.

Figures for last month alone indicate 367 seals were relocated.

The decision to end the program of seal relocations takes into account the fact that the practice of relocating seals has the potential to cause unwanted impacts and interactions in waters in the North West where seals are released.

A review and amendment of the Seal Management Framework will be undertaken to ensure appropriate access to seal management measures by industry.

We acknowledge that Work Health and Safety for staff working on marine farms is a priority and as such, seals will still be able to be captured and released in close vicinity to farms but no longer transported and released in other areas of the state.

DPIPWE is planning to undertake a statewide Australian fur-seal population survey early next year in collaboration with Victorian counterparts.

This data will better inform what resident population is present in waters around the state.

I acknowledge the work of my Braddon Liberal colleague, Adam Brooks, in lobbying tirelessly on this matter.

This decision is another example of the Hodgman Government listening to the community and acting to address concerns about seals.

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