Experts in the Media

Leo Guida –

Marine Biologist, Shark Scientist & Conservationist

Months after second Maugean skate extinction alarm issued, concerns raised that fish farms aren’t changing practices fast enough.

…Plibersek decision still being ‘delayed’

Leonardo Guida, who leads the shark conservation work at the Australian Marine Conservation Society, urged caution around any changes to dissolved oxygen levels.

“We need to tease apart the influence of natural recharging — that is, oxygen-rich seawater entering the harbour — from the influence of the oxygen pumping that’s currently going on,” he said.

“This could all change again next year because of the weather conditions.

“What we don’t want to see is that one event, like in 2019.”

In 2019, a severe storm reduced dissolved oxygen levels in the harbour, raising fears that the Maugean skate could be one severe weather event away from extinction.

Dr Guida said federal environment minister Tanya Plibersek, who is currently considering the renewal of salmon farm licences, after requests by environmental groups, needed to make a decision soon, as it had already been delayed.

Mr Martin said he believed the current measures — including nitrogen caps, monitoring and the dissolved oxygen pumping trial — had “got the balance right”.

“We feel like the level of the industry’s activity in the harbour, the way the oxygen levels have been monitored and being tracked, is now in a steady improvement and will continue,” he said…