Super Trawler loses in court

SEAFISH Tasmania won’t be able to operate the controversial super trawler Abel Tasman (formerly the Margiris) in Australian waters after losing a federal court challenge.

In the judgement handed down in Brisbane by Justice John Logan, he said former environment minister Tony Burke was within his rights to ban the factory freezer trawler, which would have had uncertain impacts on small pelagic fish.

The 9500-tonne, 143 metre commercial trawler, formerly called the Margiris, came to Australia in 2012 to fish a 16,000-tonne quota for mackerel and redbait.

See earlier related reports here and here.

Following ongoing opposition from recreational fishing groups, former federal environment minister Tony Burke banned the Margiris for two years.

The Coalition’s Environment Minister Greg Hunt who had criticised Mr Burke on the issue, has welcomed the federal court ruling.

“The government supports sustainable fisheries management and sustainable fisheries practices,” Mr Hunt said.

According to, Seafish Tasmania argued in court that fears about irreparable environmental damage were unfounded and new legislation which banned the trawler was invalid.

Rebecca Hubbard, from Environment Tasmania which is part of the Stop the Trawler Alliance, has urged Mr Hunt to permanently ban all super trawlers from Australian waters.

Read a report here.

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