Super Trawler still trying to fish in spite of ban

Media Release - 18 October 2012

The Stop the Trawler alliance is outraged that Seafish Tasmania are still pushing for the super trawler Abel Tasman (formerly Margiris) to fish in Australian waters, despite massive public opposition and the related legislation to temporarily ban it.

“The company is proposing to address the outstanding issue of localised depletion with a “move on” clause that is not based on science and therefore may not work. The information is simply not there to show that large ecosystem impacts will not be caused by this super trawler fishing,” said Rebecca Hubbard, Environment Tasmania’s Marine Coordinator.

“Seafish and AFMA will not provide information to the public on where or when the ship will be operating, or how much fish they are catching. The public will not be able to find out what is going on with this fishing operation. The company's proposals are not based on science and will not reduce concerns about localised depletion or the threat to dolphins and other marine life. Seafish Tasmania's proposals  do not address widely held concerns and nothing has really changed in the management of this fishery, so why would the Government overturn this temporary ban and allow them to fish, when there are such great risks to our fisheries and marine life?” said Tasmanian Conservation Trust’s Jon Bryan.

“We’re not comfortable with this super trawler fishing until we have up to date stock assessments. Seafish has no suggestion for how it will avoid taking sardines from the Great Australian Bight as bycatch and this is a critically valuable industry to Australia. This threatens an existing industry that is environmentally and economically valuable,” said Nobby Clark, Tuna Club of Tasmania President.

“The Australian public believe that the Government has listened to their concerns and banned the super trawler from fishing for 2 years - it would be a gross abuse of public trust if they now allowed the super trawler to go fishing, especially when such significant issues remain around localised depletion, robustness of the quotas, bycatch of threatened species, and whilst the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Inquiry is still under way,” said Ms Hubbard.

To view Sifish Tasmania's media release Seafish Media Release - Submission to Interim Declaration FINAL

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