Labor has been forced to scramble to protect recreational fishers' rights to stop Parliament sinking the two-year ban on the super trawler Abel Tasman.
Fishing lobby group, the Australian Marine Alliance, warned that proposed changes to environmental laws would give the government of the day the power to ban any kind of fishing vessels in Commonwealth waters, including recreational anglers.
A ferocious campaign from green groups prompted Environment Minister Tony Burke to announce the ban so a scientific assessment could be done on the Abel Tasman's potential impact on marine life.
The Government was forced to address suspended Labor MP Craig Thomson's concerns over the impact on recreational fishers to gain his support.Mr Thomson's amendments mean only commercial trawlers could be banned, and only when the environmental impacts were uncertain.
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