Scientist warns super trawlers will keep coming

AUSTRALIA can expect increased pressure to allow in super trawlers as fish stocks around the globe run out, a world renowned fisheries scientist says.

Dr Daniel Pauly, Professor of Fisheries at Canada’s University of British Columbia, says Australia should keep prudently managing its ocean fish stocks, with a focus on small fishing operations, not super-trawlers that “punch holes in the food web”, the Herald Sun reports.

In a speech at NSW parliament today, Dr Pauly said overfishing had already removed about half the world’s table fish population and about 13 per cent of the biomass in the oceans.

His warnings follow federal Environment Minister Tony Burke’s decision in September to stop Seafish Tasmania operating the 142-metre FV Margiris on Australia’s east and west coasts.

Dr Pauly said such vessels quickly exhausted their capacity to maintain high catch rates so were always on the look-out for new fishing grounds.

“It is such a giant predator, it has to eat all the time.”

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