The Stop the Trawler Alliance of conservation, recreational fishing and tourism groups today welcomed the revelation that Seafish Tasmania, operator of the Geelong Star factory freezer trawler, has abandoned their cynical attempt to secure Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification for the Small Pelagic Fishery.
“No responsible independent organisation could possibly give super trawlers in the Small Pelagic Fishery a tick of sustainability, and the fact that Seafish has withdrawn their application suggests they know this,” said Rebecca Hubbard with Environment Tasmania.
“The operation of the Geelong Star in the SPF has numerous questions hanging over its head including the impacts on whale sharks, dolphins and other protected species, and potential impacts on much more valuable fisheries caused by localised depletion,” said Adrian Meder, of the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
“We always suspected that MSC certification was a smoke and mirrors stunt. It was obviously just another worthless political ploy; like so many of the other valueless undertakings this company has made to recreational fishers,” said John Edwards, President of the Tasmanian Game Fishing Association.
“Seafish must finally have realized that breaking environmental laws, impacting other fisheries, killing protected species and sparking broadscale community opposition will not earn them a stamp of sustainability. Now it’s time for the major political parties to recognize that this controversial industrial fishing operation is unlike no other in Australia and requires a specific response. Nothing short of a permanent ban on super trawlers in the Small Pelagic Fishery will be enough,” concluded Ms Hubbard.