It Could Be Back

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.

In response to this incredible mobilisation, the Liberal Government of Victoria and the Labor Government of South Australia both banned super trawlers in their state waters.

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.

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Super trawler banned again!

Yesterday Minister Tony Burke announced that he was banning the super trawler from fishing again.

Seafish Tasmania had proposed to use the super trawler FV Abel Tasman (formerly Margiris) as a "mother ship" for smaller trawlers to load their catches of small pelagic fish onto for processing at sea (transhipment). This proposal was adamantly rejected by environment and fishing groups as side-stepping the original ban on the super trawler from November last year, and coming before any expert review of its impacts had even begun.

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