Tassie fishos protest against factory trawler

THE ABC reports that rec fishermen have gathered in Tasmania’s north and south to protest against the factory fishing trawler, Geelong Star.

Seafish Tasmania, the company bringing in the controversial trawler had previously lost its bid to operate the supertrawler MV Margiris, but has received preliminary approval to fish in the smaller 95 metre Geelong Star.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) held a forum in Hobart with environmental groups, and recreational fishers, to try and address their concerns.

One of a dozen recreational fishers protesting in the state’s north-west Jason Ivory said the new trawler would decimate stocks of small pelagic fish.

“The impact is localised depletion, if it wipes out the bait stocks, it wipes out the larger pelagic fish as well, which are your tuna, your marlin,” he said.

“The fall out from that is that fishermen aren’t fishing, the economy will struggle, the economies will struggle.

“We faced this issue with supertrawlers a few years ago. [They] turn up three, four, five months later with a boat that’s a 100 metres long.

“We feel like we’ve been led up the garden path by the politicians.”

The Geelong Star will arrive into Australian waters from Cape Town, South Africa, within the next few weeks.

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