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Anti-trawler petition delivered to Parliament House

WITH only two weeks until the expected arrival of the super trawler FV Margiris, Australian politicians, rec fishers and green groups have turned up the heat on fisheries minister Joe Ludwig to ban the massive vessel from Australian waters.

35,000 paper fish, representing the signatories to the Stop the Super Trawler petition, were released from a net on the lawns of federal parliament this week as the petition was being delivered directly to fisheries minister Joe Ludwig inside Parliament House.

A growing number of Australians are calling on the minister to prevent the FV Margiris from fishing in Australian waters and causing irreversible damage to fish stocks and marine life.

Notable politicians including Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, Greens senator Peter Whish Wilson, and Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, Sid Sidebottom joined fishing and conservation representatives.

Neil ‘Nobby’ Clarke, President of the Tuna Club Tasmania said: “The fish in our Commonwealth waters belong to all Australians. Recreational fishermen across Australia respect the right of commercial operations but we do not support industrial fishing. There is a high risk the Margiris super trawler will deplete local fish stocks and there is little scientific knowledge about how long it will take for the fish to re-populate, if at all.”

Tasmanian Australian of the Year, ex-fisherman and Ecotourism Operator, Robert Pennicott said: “I am one of 137 eco-tour operators Australia-wide who rely on showcasing whales, seals and dolphins. The majority of the food source for these animals is redbait and mackerel. Our industry is directly worth $300 million per annum to the Australian economy. Upsetting this food source could have disastrous consequences for the Australian tourism industry. This is clearly short term gain but will cause substantial long term pain.”

Stop the Super trawler petition available at http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-giant-fishing-trawler-in-tasmania/

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