SEAFISH Tasmania, the operator of the controversial super trawler Abel Tasman has surrendered the ship’s Australian registration, the ABC has reported.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has also confirmed the company relinquished the vessel’s registration over the weekend.
The 140-metre Abel Tasman, formerly known as FV Margiris, has been docked at Port Lincoln in South Australia since last year, when the Federal Government first banned it from fishing in Australian waters for two years on environmental grounds.
Seafish has confirmed the vessel has been sold and it is expected to leave the country next week. Seafish Tasmania director Gerry Geen says the Government left it with no choice but to look at other options.
“To even ban the vessel from accepting fish caught by smaller Australian boats and processing them on board – at that point it was abundantly clear that Minister Burke wasn’t going to allow this boat to operate under any fashion” he said.
He says the company still wants to fish its quota of jack mackerel and red bait using a large-scale freezer trawler.
More details and video report at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-01/super-trawler27s-operator-surrenders-registration/4548604