Supertrawler puts Perth penguins in peril

Wilderness Society Marine Campaigner Jenita Enevoldsen received evasive responses from both Environment Minister Tony Burke and Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig at Perth's meeting of Community Cabinet last night.

Jenita asked about the potential impacts which the supertrawler might have on a local population of penguins. The colony, on nearby Penguin Island, has suffered a four-fold increase in deaths over the last breeding season due to the lack of baitfish in the area with which to feed their young. Specifically, she asked the Minister's how, with the planned national marine parks not yet in effect, they could ensure that the 18,000 tons of quota that the super trawler is requesting, would not further devastate local populations of the threatened penguin species?

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SA Govt Opposes Super Trawler

The South Australian Environment Minister, Mr Paul Caica, yesterday tabled a motion in Parliament stating concerns and opposition to the entry of the super trawler Margiris into the Small Pelagic Fishery and South Australian waters.

After noting considerable community concern and opposition from recreational and commercial fishers, conservation groups and the broader community, he stated that the super trawler risked marine life, fisheries and existing industries, and he had written to the Federal Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig, requesting him to oppose it's entry into the Small Pelagic Fishery altogether.

He also made it clear that the super trawler was not welcome in South Australian waters or ports on a long term basis.

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