Super trawler threat rekindled

CALLS to stop a super trawler operating in Australia have been renewed as a two-year federal ban comes to an end later this year.

The Herald Sun reports the Stop the Trawler Alliance last week launched a campaign seeking pre-election commitments from all political parties to permanently ban super trawlers, with Liberals and the Greens backing the ban.

The alliance, made up of recreational fishers and conservation groups, led the public campaign that resulted in a ban on super trawlers fishing in Australian waters in 2012.

Rebecca Hubbard, of Environment Tasmania, said the threat of a super trawler depleting fish stocks had not disappeared, with a court challenge to the federal ban still being considered and indications proponents would again try to bring fish factories to Australian waters.

She said at a state level, government could introduce a regulation or amend legislation to ban specific fishing types such as trawling.

However, Premier Lara Giddings said a ban was up to the Federal Government.

“The fact is super trawlers don’t operate in Tasmanian waters … they operate in Australian waters in which state parties have no influence whatsoever,” she said.

“What is important is whatever fishing takes place that it is controlled and sustainable.”

Seafish Tasmania spokesman Mark Thomas said the company was waiting on the outcome of the Federal Court case.

Seafish Tasmania is suing the Federal Government and two former Labor ministers over the ban on the controversial super trawler Abel Tasman.

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