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This Summer, get to the beach but watch where you step

A partnership formed between Tasmanian seafood company Tassal and the Southern Coastcare Association of Tasmania (SCAT) is focusing on how protecting our coasts can also safeguard our seafood industry.

Today (during Coastcare Week) David Forrest, the National Business Manager of Tassal Salmon Shops, presented the Southern Coastcare Association of Tasmania a $3000 donation to help ensure important coastal work is continued into 2015.

Tassal has collected funds through its retail outlets. More than $4 600 has currently been contributed by customers from Tassal’s Salmon Shops in Salamanca, Hobart and Kew, Victoria through the sale of heavy duty plastic bags. This campaign has significantly reduced Tassal’s use of plastic bags through sales by more than 90 per cent over the past 12 months. By reducing plastic bag sales from the shops, Tassal says it has also actively contributed to a reduction for this plastic to end up in the waterways.

Mr Forrest said supporting Coastcare was a nice fit for the business.

“Promoting the importance of Coastcare work makes perfect sense. Improving and developing sustainable practices continues to be a priority for Tassal.  We are committed to reducing our waste and the impact of our waste on the coastline.  We want to thank our customers for generously donating money to SCAT through this partnership” David Forrest said.

Atlantic salmon is now Australia’s most popular seafood in both volume and value ranked ahead of rocklobster ($384 million) and prawns ($266 million).The value of farmed salmon in Australia had increased to approximately $513 million according to information published in Australian Fisheries Statistics 2012.

President of the Southern Coastcare Association of Tasmania (SCAT) Chris Johns says, “Tassal’s commitment to protecting Tasmania’s coasts makes obvious business sense, but equally it highlights every person’s role in helping to protect something so important for all Tasmanians.

“We’re encouraging anyone heading to the coast to think about their impact. There are a couple of things: walking on the hard sand near the water is an important one. Summer is breeding season for shorebirds and often eggs laid on the soft sand above the high tide mark are hard to spot underfoot. Dogs are also a massive risk for nest disturbance, so keeping dogs on leashes will help protect chicks and eggs.

“Over Summer, visitation to Tasmania’s coasts and beaches doubles. People enjoy the coast and all it has to offer but we have to remember that we share it with a range of species and they add to our great experiences of Summer holidays at the beach.

“Kids can also play a role in learning about keeping beaches clean. Plastic bags, fishing line and nets are big threats to sea animals and shorebirds and taking the opportunity to teach kids about taking rubbish home is one thing everyone can do.

There is a lot that people can do to make a difference to the coastal environment this summer and Chris has a few key messages for people.

“We’d like to encourage anyone visiting the coast during summer to keep to the made tracks, follow signs posted on beaches and walk on the wet sand. Please enjoy beaches over summer, snorkelling around the coasts, enjoy swimming and boating and fishing with your mates, but be careful for the sake of our beautiful birds and encourage your kids and mates to do the same,” Chris Johns’ explained.

Coastcare Week runs from 1-7 December 2014, and an event Coast for Comment is to be held on 7 December to celebrate the great work of Coastcare volunteers who work to reduce damage to our coasts, beaches and waterways caused by both natural and human effects.

Additional activities that are running during Coastcare Week can be found at www.scat.org.au.

 

TOP TIPS FOR COASTCARE WEEK

  1. Get to the beach. Remember why clean coasts and beaches are so awesome.
  2. Take rubbish home. On the beach or boat, make sure it goes home with you.
  3. Keep to beach tracks, obey the signs and teach your kids. Birds are nesting now and need to be left alone to raise their chicks.
  4. Take lines, hooks, plastic bags and nets with you when you fish. Over the side is a massive risk for birds and sea mammals who can ingest rubbish or get tangled in lines and nets.
  5. Keep your dog on a leash and walk on the wet sand. It helps protect nesting birds’ chicks and eggs.
  6. Don’t dump green waste near or on coastal reserves. They can be a fire risk and can outcompete natural plants and reduce habitat for native birds and animals.
  7. Get involved in Coastcare. Get to the beach or coast to plant, fence, protect.

Get involved at www.scat.org.au.

 

 

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