State Govt vows to fight super-trawler

Super-trawler the Margiris will be subject to tough rules when it begins trawling off the Tasmanian coast, but the South Australian Government says it will do everything it can to stop it fishing here.

Super-trawler gets green light to fish

Super-trawler gets green light to fish

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has said there are restrictions on the vessel to stop its size making a significant mark on ocean wildlife.

“The big vessel will have to fish with the rules so that the impact it has on the environment will be no worse than if it was fishing as a smaller vessel,” Mr Burke told Q&A.

He has enforced a range of tough rules to make sure its fishing doesn’t devastate Australia’s marine animals.

The ship has been banned from fishing in sea lion hunting grounds, and if a dolphin is killed, it must move 50 nautical miles away before it resumes trawling.

It must also move the 50 nautical miles if three seals are killed in quick succession or more than 10 die in a 24-hour period.

Operations will be monitored by an on-board government observer and an underwater camera.

State Minister for Environment Paul Caica has vowed the vessel will never be given permission to operate here.

“The South Australian Government understands that there is widespread concern amongst commercial and recreational fishers, conservation groups and local communities about the proposed operations of this vessel, and its potential impact on local fisheries and marine life in particular in Commonwealth waters adjacent to South Australia,” he said.

“I want to assure the South Australian community that this vessel does not have permission and will not be granted permission by the South Australian Government, to operate in South Australian waters.”

Mr Caica acknowledged the conditions imposed on the super-trawler by the Federal Government, but said they didn’t provide any real protection.

“…these conditions are only interim and do not give any certainty to the community of South Australia that our important marine life and seafood industry will not be impacted,” he said.

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