Save the Maugean Skate

The Maugean skate is facing imminent extinction. Intensive salmon farming and, altered river flows into the harbour to support hydroelectricity production are depleting oxygen in the harbour, pushing the skate too hard for too long, and literally choking it to death.

In just 10 years, the Maugean skate might no longer exist on this planet, marking the world’s first extinction of a ray in modern times directly because of human activity. We can’t, and won’t, let it become the ‘Tasmanian tiger’ of the sea.

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Preventing a ‘Tasmanian tiger’ of the sea

The Maugean skate population is rapidly declining, dropping up to 47% between 2014 and 2021. They are one extreme weather event away from extinction. We need to act now. Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has the power to protect this unique creature for years to come, by ensuring the following happens:

Restore the health of Macquarie Harbour so that oxygen levels are restored and maintained at levels conducive to supporting a healthy Maugean skate population.

Restoring a healthy harbour needs an immediate pause on salmon farming, at least until oxygen levels are restored and the immediate development of a captive breeding program.

Ongoing population monitoring to establish how many skates there are, in order to track and refine recovery efforts.

Fast track an uplisting of the species to ‘Critically Endangered’ under Australia’s nature laws, as per the HSI and AMCS scientific nomination under this category in 2023.

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