The Australian Greens say the world’s second largest super-trawler, Margiris, will be an unwelcome visitor if reports it plans to make an unannounced stop in Western Australia next week are correct.
“Super-trawlers are a destructive way of fishing. The Margiris is a 142m floating freezer which uses industrial-scale fishing nets large enough to fit four jumbo jets,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Marine spokesperson said today.
“The super-trawler is now expected to use WA to unload the 6000 tonnes of fish taken from international waters, before then heading straight out to begin trawling in the Western Small Pelagic Fishery which runs from Perth to Tasmania.
“This will see a dramatic increase in the fish stocks being taken from the ocean- a jump from 120 tonnes to potentially 18,000 tonnes in the space of 12 months. We don’t know the impact this will have on animals such as seals and dolphins, or for long term stocks. Clearly this is a perilously rapid increase.
“I have no doubt that people in WA would be greatly concerned by this increase, given the growing awareness of the need for responsible fishing that will support businesses and communities for many years to come.
“Super-trawling has been linked to the collapse of fisheries around Africa and South America. It is about as irresponsible as you can get.
“It is only economically viable to operate this trawler in our waters because of a Government decision to lift fishery quotas, despite growing public concerns.
“The Australian Greens are taking action in the Senate in a bid to prevent this trawling going ahead. The Government needs to step in and put an end to this dangerous operation,” Senator Siewert concluded.