WA’s peak environment and sustainability group the Conservation Council of WA has urged Government to pass new legislation that would stop the Super Trawler fishing in Australian waters for at least two years, pending review of the environmental impacts.
“With the super trawler threatening to start operating in Western Australian waters within weeks, we urge the Government to pass this legislation without delay,” said Conservation Council of WA Marine Coordinator Tim Nicol.
“The super trawler is the vacuum cleaner of the sea, sweeping up thousands of tonnes of fish and any seals, sea lions and dolphins that happen to be feeding on them at the time.”
The new legislation would allow the super trawler to become a Declared Fishery, meaning an immediate two year ban on operation whilst studies are conducted into its impacts on protected species.
“Super Trawlers have no place in the future sustainable management of our oceans, and we are confident that any review of its operation will show that it poses an unacceptable risk to ocean life.”
“Following the urgent passage of this legislation, we urge Parliament to continue to consider a full ban on the operation of super trawlers in Australia.”
The Government has also announced a review of the commonwealth fisheries management act, with Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig stating that the legislation is twenty years old and no longer meets community expectations. In particular, the issue of localized depletions from industrial fishing vessels was not able to be addressed by authorities.
“Poorly managed fishing operations can do immense damage to the oceans, fish stocks and marine wildlife. It is critical that our fisheries legislation allows transparency and enforcement of the highest standards,” said Mr Nicol.
“Once the damage is done, it is often too late to go back.”
For further comment:
Tim Nicol – 0422 235 774