Government called on to stay firm on super trawler

THE Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) has called on the federal Government to honour its commitments in relation to the super trawler issue.

The call comes in response to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) asking for comment on an application for the Super Trawler the FV Abel Tasman to process fish from the small pelagic fishery.

ARFF Managing Director Allan Hansard said “This appears to be a backdoor way for Seafish Tasmania to get the Super Trawler access to our waters. We understand that under the application, the FV Abel Tasman will act as a processing and freezing vessel to be fed by smaller trawlers that will do the fishing.

“However, under the definitions in the Fisheries Management Act and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act, fishing means ‘the processing, carrying or transhipping of fish that have been taken’. As such, this application should be covered by the same legislation that has banned the super trawler from fishing for 2 years.

“We call on Minister Burke to do what he said he would do and immediately form the Review Committee to assess the fishing activities of the super trawler.

“The ARFF position on fishing activities in the SPF has not changed.

“We want to see the Review Committee commission the science required to comprehensively determine the stock and movement of all small pelagic fish across the SPF before there is any decision made on how the fishery should be fished or processed. Particularly when the proposed fishing methods fall outside the realm of existing science in relation to potential impact.

“This is not good enough and the Government should act now to address this issue.”

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