Super trawler officially banned for two years

THE Federal Government has offically imposed a two-year ban on the controversial super trawler, the Abel Tasman, preventing it fishing in Australian waters the ABC reports.

Environment Minister Tony Burke issued an interim ban in September in the face of a strong community campaign, which prohibited the trawler from commercial fishing for 60 days.

That has now been extended for 24 months to allow time for an expert panel to consider the environmental impacts of large-scale trawlers.

“The challenge here has always been, a vessel of this nature had never been used in Australian waters,” Burke told reporters in Canberra this afternoon.

“It did carry additional environmental challenges where, on a number of occasions, the information that I sought was not available.

“There was significant uncertainty about what the environmental consequences would be.”

Earlier this year the Abel Tasman, formerly the Margiris, was brought to Australia as part of a joint venture between Seafish Tasmania, which has a fishing quota of almost 18,000 tonnes, and a Dutch company.

The ban will apply to any vessel the size of the Abel Tasman in the Small Pelagic Fishery – an area covering waters from just above the Queensland-NSW border, south around the bottom of Australia to north of Perth in Western Australia.

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