The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is asking Tassal to address business risks associated with climate change.
Through our resolution we hope to highlight the business risks Tassal face due to climate change, and to seek enhanced disclosure to shareholders of these risks.
In temperatures outside of their “thermal tolerance” range, Atlantic salmon experience negative performance and health, including heat stress, suppressed liver functions, reduced feed intake and poor feed efficiency. As oceans warm due to climate change, this represents a significant operational and financial risk for Tassal.
Normal summer temperatures in Tasmanian waters can already come close to salmon’s thermal tolerance. Tasmania’s surface waters have warmed 2 degrees Celsius in the last 60 years and are projected to warm by another 2 to 3 degrees Celsius by 2070 – faster than the global average. Academics have 1 described salmon aquaculture as “racing climate change”, with Professor of Marine Ecology David Booth predicting that “the industry will naturally die off as the ocean warms, in Australia anyway”. Climate change contributed to the 2015/16 marine heatwave which reduced salmon growth rates for both Tassal Group and Huon Aquaculture3.
Aquaculture infrastructure is also highly susceptible to extreme weather events, as evidenced by the storm that struck Huon Aquaculture’s pens off Bruny Island in May this year. Equipment washed up on the shore near Tarooma, south of Hobart, and up to 250,000 fish escaped.
Concerns have been raised from government, environmentalists and the press that salmon aquaculture controversies could lead to a “forestry style” battle. Polling conducted in the Tasmanian electorate of Lyons in July 2017 found that 53.7% of respondents agreed that the fish farm industry is risking jobs by not investing in future-proofing the industry, compared to 11.8% who disagreed (The Australia Institute, 2017).
Although Tassal have indicated at a high level that they taken some steps to manage the business risks associated with climate change, a significant enhancement of the disclosures they make to shareholders is needed and warranted.
How You Can Help
If you hold shares in Tassal and would like to join us by becoming one of 100 shareholders to support our resolution, please sign up to the ACCR Resolutions database.
What to do if you are already signed up to the ACCR resolutions website
If you hold shares in Tassal and have already signed up to our resolutions website, you don’t need to do anything at all.
If you have acquired shares in Tassal since last signing up or are unsure of what shares we have you registered as holding, you can log into your account and update your holdings.
Why do you need my support to do this?
Under Australian law, a shareholder resolution can only be lodged if it is supported by 100 or more shareholders with voting rights. This makes your support crucial to us. If you are interested in supporting upcoming resolutions please sign up to our shareholder database.
How do I sign up?