Feds petitioned to ban freezer trawlers

REC fishing and conservation groups are calling on federal politicians to support a new pledge to protect Australia’s marine environment and key recreational fisheries from the Geelong Star and other super trawlers.

In a released statement the Stop The Trawler Alliance says this pledge offers a simple solution to the ongoing problems freezer factory trawlers such as the Geelong Star continue to generate.

Since it started fishing in March this year, the Geelong Star has killed numerous dolphins and seals. The management of this fishery by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has also become an issue; documents released under FOI revealed that an independent Chair of the Small Pelagic Fishery Resource Assessment Group quit due to a conflict of interest.

33,500 petitioners’ names supporting a ban on factory freezer trawlers are being delivered this week to Prime Minister Abbott in Canberra. This follows a delivery of 75,000 petitioners’ names just three months ago.

“Public opposition to the use of industrial-scale freezer factory trawlers in Australia’s Small Pelagic Fishery remains high, yet Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck refuses to take these concerns on board. The Small Pelagic Fishery Pledge offers Federal Politicians an opportunity to be part of the solution, and to show their support for protection of our fishing, marine life and fisheries,” said Rebecca Hubbard of Environment Tasmania.

“The highest value use of the Small Pelagic Fishery is not in a few dollars per tonne for industrial scale factory trawlers, but in protecting this fish stock for supporting recreational fishers and local micro-economies that rely on healthy stocks, and for the environmental role it plays in feeding larger species like tuna,” said John Edwards of Tuna Club of Tasmania.

Small Pelagic Fishery Pledge
Recreational fishers and conservationists call on Australian Federal Politicians to pledge support for:

Enacting a permanent ban on the operation of factory freezer trawlers in the Small Pelagic Fishery.

A factory freezer trawler is any vessel capable of machine processing and freezing small pelagic fish catch on board.

More info: Stop The Trawler Alliance

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