Superannuation fund gets rid of Tassal's shares
2017-04-10 10:17:29   copyfrom:    hits:

Tassal salmon farm (Photo: Tassal)AUSTRALIAFriday, March 31, 2017,22:10 (GMT + 9)Fund manager Australian Ethical an
 

Tassal salmon farm. (Photo: Tassal)

 

Click on the flag for more information about AustraliaAUSTRALIA 
Friday, March 31, 2017, 22:10 (GMT + 9)

 

Fund manager Australian Ethical announced it has sold AUD 10 million (USD 7.6 million) Tassal shares mainly due to concerns about the sustainability of farmed salmon feed supply.

Australian Ethical's head of ethics research Stuart Palmer said they were also concerned about the management of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour on the state's west coast, including current legal proceedings against the Tasmanian Environment Protection Agency and the Tasmanian Government, ABC reported.

"There's a lot of very concerning matters being raised around the regulation of the harbour and aquaculture practices in the harbour," he claimed.

The superannuation fund, which holds the retirement savings of 30,000 Australians, held about AUD 10 million of Tassal stock which represented between 1 and 2 per cent of issued capital.

In the fund’s website it has been stated that its view on aquaculture has been that it has the potential to reduce overfishing and move towards a sustainable seafood production by substituting feedstock with plant based protein.

"Unfortunately, we believe Tassal and the salmon farming sector is not currently on track to achieve this goal," it reads.

Dr Palmer said the Australian Ethical will not be investing in any other salmon farming companies unless they reduce their use of wild fish as feed stock.

In his view, while the wild fish component of salmon feed (typically anchovies) has reduced substantially with the introduction of plant and other feed components, this trend has slowed and in some cases reversed. The sustainability of wild anchovy fisheries is a concern with growing demand for fishmeal feed and fish oil, demand which is also diverting anchovies from their use as a direct source of protein.

The fund claims that Tassal and the salmon farming sector is not currently on track to reduce overfishing and move towards a sustainable seafood production by substituting feedstock with plant based protein.

“We have also taken into account the concerns raised in recent public scrutiny of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour and other Tasmanian aquaculture sites,” the fund’s website reads.

The fund also expresses its intention to monitor these issues, including as they are adjudicated in the current legal proceedings against the Tasmanian Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

In addition, the fund will also look for opportunities for Australian Ethical to support action to safeguard that Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards promote better aquaculture practices, both through appropriate standard setting and appropriate processes for external audit of compliance with the standards. 

 

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