In 2012 tens of thousands of conservationists, fishers and community members across Australia took action to protect their fisheries and marine life from the threat of a super trawler, the MV Margiris.
Politicians from all parties in the Tasmanian Government expressed deep concern about its impacts on their valuable marine environment and fisheries, and the Liberal and Green parties in Western Australia expressed concern about the impacts it may have there.
This grass roots action and response from local Members of Parliament culminated in the Federal Government amending the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) to ban super trawlers in the Small Pelagic Fishery for two years while an independent inquiry was conducted into the impacts.
Despite contrasting state positions, the Federal Liberal Party did not support the ban on super trawlers, and nor did Independent Members Tony Windsor or Tony Crook.
Under the EPBC Act, the Minister for the Environment can revoke the declaration in relation to the super trawler by making a legislative instrument, which can be as simple as making the instrument and informing effected businesses (no parliamentary approval is required).
The Federal Liberal Party have said they will overthrow the super trawler ban if they win the next election.
Even the Labor Party hasn’t yet banned Super Trawlers permanently!
Outstanding concerns over out-dated stock assessments of the target small pelagic species (Jack Mackarel, Blue Mackarel and Redbait); the potential for localised depletion; deaths of protected species such as seals, dolphins and seabirds; and the subsidisation of super trawlers to exploit international fisheries, remain.