Rudd joins fight as super trawler heads north

THE controversial super trawler the FV Margiris has changed its name to the Abel Tasman and is bound for Brisbane where it will be unable to commence fishing until Queensland authorities approve its certification.

After docking at Port Lincoln in South Australia the trawler has met with a storm of protest as rec fishers and environmentalists call for it to be banned from Australian waters.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has also joined the fight against the controversial 142m factory ship.

Rudd has backed Labor backbencher Melissa Parke’s Private Member’s Bill, which could send the super-trawler packing. Ms Parke’s Bill might come before the lower house within the next fortnight.

The federal Government has placed added restrictions on the trawler, including that it run on board cameras to monitor netting activity and operate an escape hatch for seals. 

Maritime Safety Queensland said it was currently assessing what amounted to a seaworthy certificate. Once signed off, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority can consider the application to commence fishing.

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