Super trawler: Risk too great for a decision made in the dark

THE Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF), the national peak body representing the interests of Australia’s 5 million anglers, has called on the federal Government to prevent Dutch-owned super trawler FV Margiris from fishing in Australian waters.

ARFF has come to this decision following recent meetings with Federal Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

ARFF spokesman Allan Hansard said “AFMA officials were unable to provide enough scientific data to allay the growing concerns by recreational anglers from all over Australia about potential localised depletion issues, especially involving baitfish stocks off eastern Tasmania.”

“We asked for the science that would provide the necessary confidence that the super trawler posed no significant threats to our bait fisheries to be put on the table. The science provided was out of date and raised more questions than it answered.”

“We then asked for details on the process that will guarantee that the appropriate science will be collected, analysed and put into enforceable management plans to address local depletion issues. We are still awaiting an appropriate response to this request.”

“Anglers recognise and acknowledge that the company wishing to operate the super trawler in Australian waters has been flexible in regards to how and where the vessel could operate.”

“However, without the appropriate science and processes to underpin it, we are flying in the dark about our knowledge on potential impacts on localised depletion. We were hoping the Government or AFMA could shine the light on this key and important issue for our fisheries and marine environment but obviously they can’t find the switch.”

“Anglers are concerned that the Gillard Government is making key decisions that affect Australia’s 5 million anglers and the $15 billion sector that supports them based on insufficient science and inadequate process.”

“We have unfortunately seen this with the current Federal Marine Park Planning Process being run by Minister Tony Burke and we are again seeing it with the decision on the super trawler. We cannot, and will not, be making decisions about our fisheries and marine environment without an appropriate scientific basis. The risk is too great.”

The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) is the newly formed national peak body representing Australia’s Recreational Fishing Community and is supported by the Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), Recfish Australia, Game Fishing Association Australia (GFAA), Sunfish Queensland, Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT), Recfishwest, Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFANSW), Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association (USFA); Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA), and the Professional Fishing Instructors and Guides Association (PFIGA).

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.