The Stop the Trawler Alliance is alarmed that the Small Pelagic Fishing Industry Association is pushing the super trawler into southern Australia and claiming that they are reducing impacts on recreational fishers and marine life.
“The Industry decision to pause use of the super trawler in Zone 7 in northern NSW is designed purely to silence MP Bob Baldwin before the Federal Election without having an impact on their fishing operations. There has been community outrage and local MP Bob Baldwin has done the right thing and responded to this, however the industry doesn’t have a permit from the NSW Government for super trawlers to fish there anyway,” said Nobby Clark of Game Fish Tasmania Sports Fishing Club.
“What the temporary closure of northern NSW does is shift all of the fishing pressure onto southern NSW, Victoria, Tassie, SA and WA. The area around Bermagui in Eden-Monaro is about to be re-opened to the super trawler Geelong Star and recreational fishers, coastal tourism operators and the environment will be under even greater pressure than ever before,” said Mr Clark.
“The Turnbull Government is trying to take the heat out of this situation by forcing fishing groups into a room with industry, but it’s not going to work. The simple fact is that the Australian public doesn’t want to threaten our local fisheries or marine life for foreign, industrial super trawlers,” said John Edwards, President of Tasmanian Game Fishing Association.
“Over a hundred thousand emails were sent to Federal Politicians against the super trawler last week alone. This community action will increase over summer and in the lead up to a federal election as the super trawler continues to fish, unless local MP’s do something to ban them for good,” said Rebecca Hubbard of Environment Tasmania.
“Our local fisheries in southern NSW, Victoria, Tassie and South Australia are now being exposed to unprecedented industrial-scale trawling without adequate science or management. The Turnbull Government needs to stop with the faux-solutions and put in place a permanent ban on all factory freezer trawlers in the Small Pelagic Fishery, to protect our valuable recreational and commercial fisheries and marine environment,” concluded Mr Edwards.