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Environment Minister Must Scuttle Super-Trawler 2.0

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Wednesday 23rd January 2013

Environment Minister Must Scuttle Super-Trawler 2.0

The Australian Greens remain committed to opposing renewed attempts to allow the super-trawler formerly known as F.V. Margiris, now the Abel Tasman, to operate in Australian waters until the government’s review of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the small pelagic fishery quota science is completed.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Tasmanian Marine Issues, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, stated Seafish Tasmania’s proposal to operate the vessel as a ‘mother-ship’ - or, in other words, a floating fish-factory as opposed to a trawler - was a cynical and desperate move to avoid the intent of the recent trawler ban.

“This proposal does nothing to address the concerns around the issue of localised depletion that was a determining factor in the Commonwealth instituting a ban in the first place.

“To my knowledge that research is yet to be finalised.

“I’ll be progressing that matter during Senate Estimate hearings in the coming weeks.

“The Greens continue to support the myriad recreational fishers, community groups and ENGOs opposed to this.

“This proposal would allow the Margiris to stay on station for the same period as the initial proposal while smaller vessels do the actual fishing.

“These smaller vessels wouldn’t suffer from the usual constraints of lower freezer capacity, which prohibits them from staying at sea for prolonged periods.

“Under this approach Margiris could, in effect, be fishing several small pelagic schools concurrently, although it would never actually put its own net in the water.

“The prospect of Seafish adopting a similar fishing methodology to the Japanese whaling industry will horrify many Australians who are already on record as opposing the super-trawler Margiris.”

Media Contact: Wes Young 0409 164 603