Petition to ban super trawlers reaches Parliament

OPPOSITION to super trawlers fishing Australian waters has once again ramped up as the 95-metre factory ship the Dirk Dirk approaches Victorian waters.

The Guardian has reported that a petition urging a ban on the huge fishing trawlers has been presented to parliamentarians.

The Dirk Dirk, also known as the Geelong Star, is 95 metres long and will operate outside Victoria’s fishing exclusion zone which ends 3km from the shore.

“Right now there is a large freezer factory trawler steaming towards Australia, despite the ongoing broad opposition to the industrialisation of our fisheries,” Rebecca Hubbard from Environment Tasmania said. “[Parliamentary secretary for Agriculture] Senator Colbeck is welcoming this new trawler into Australia.”

“It is almost 100 metres long. It will be the largest vessel fishing close to Australian shores and second only to a vessel operating deep in the Southern Ocean,” independent MP Andrew Wilkie told reporters on Wednesday.

Labor implemented a temporary two-year ban on super trawlers in 2012, after public outcry over the entry of vessel FV Margiris, later renamed Abel Tasman.

On Christmas Eve last year, Senator Colbeck announced a permanent ban on super trawlers, which he defined as vessels over 130 metres in length.

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