It’s a small victory for environmentalists around the world.
There are reports that Australia plans to block a controversial “super trawler” from fishing in its waters for two years. Critics have long been worried about the impact on fish stocks and other marine life.
According to The Guardian, Environment Minister, Tony Burke, will introduce the legislation this week. It will give him the power to ban the vessel from fishing until further scientific research is carried out.
The Minister has said there is too much uncertainty surrounding the environmental impact of the 142-metre trawler. It is reportedly the world’s second-largest fishing vessel.
The Guardian quotes Burke: “There has never been a fishing vessel of this capacity in Australia before and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act needs to be updated so that it can deal with it.”
The FV Margiris is Dutch-owned. It was reportedly brought to Australian shores last month in a joint-venture with Seafish Tasmania.
The trawler was reportedly awarded an 18,000 tonne quota to fish for jack mackerel and red bait fish off the coast of Australia under strict conditions. Its name was changed to the Abel Tasman and registered in Australia.
The Guardian quotes an open letter from Seafish Tasmania and the Commonwealth Fisheries Association to MPs: “Changing laws in response to emotive campaigning and ‘trial by media’ undermines the credibility of Australian fisheries management, creates uncertainty and insecurity for fishermen and deters investment that is needed to support regional jobs.”
The newspaper went on to say that Greenpeace, which had attempted to stop the ship docking when it arrived in South Australia, hailed the decision as a “sensible response to the threat of the Abel Tasman”.