Hard to believe that this is allowed - a huge ship to take fish from our southern ocean in this manner. I am certainly a greenie (most of the time) and reckon it's not right at all. A quota of 18,000 ton. Okay to fish for local human needs but not this. Already trawlers are wrecking the sea life in the South Pacifc such as the Fiji region and local fishermen can see the difference in the quantity. Some people say the Asian trawlers sneak in quite close to the shores and collect large amounts of fish just for bait!
From the ABC news this afternoon:
Super trawler flags immediate start to fishing
The company bringing a controversial trawler to Tasmania has defended the vessel's proposed new name and revealed it may change its travel plans.
The 142-metre FV Margiris is docked at Port Lincoln in South Australia where it is waiting to be approved as an Australian ship.
Seafish Tasmania has previously said the vessel would base itself in Devonport before fishing its 18,000 tonne quota.
But a company spokesman says the trawler may now go straight out and start fishing in Commonwealth waters without first docking in Devonport.
The Margiris has been criticised by Greenpeace and recreational fishers, who are worried the ship will deplete fish stocks in Commonwealth waters and will catch a large number of other species.
The company says the net will have underwater cameras attached, so the Australian Fisheries Management Authority can monitor by-catch.
However, the factory trawler cannot catch Seafish Tasmania's quota until it has been reflagged.
Destructive or sustainable?
The magnitude of the Margiris operation has sparked fears it will decimate fish stocks.
But Australia's fishing regulator says the trawler's quota is based on sound science.
So will the super trawler devastate a region, or will its catch be a drop in the ocean?
ABC News Online takes a look at both sides of the debate here.
Seafish has applied to have the trawler reflagged and renamed the Abel Tasman and hopes to be granted approval by authorities tomorrow.
The bid to rename the vessel angered independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie.
"To now use that man's name which has such an important historical significance in this state, it's almost a final insult," he said.
Seafish director Gerry Geen defended the decision.
"We're in a partnership with a Dutch company so we think it's an appropriate name," he said.
It is common for ships to be renamed when they are registered in new countries.
According to shipping databases, the Margiris has previously been called the Annelies Ilena, the Atlantic Star and the Siberian Enterprise.
Seafish Tasmania has also defended moves to bring a European expert to Australia to examine the super trawler.
Mr Geen says the expert will look at the device preventing bycatch, but says the move does not suggest there's a problem with the nets.
"No, absolutely not. This is us just being double safe," he said.
"We take the issue of marine mammal interactions very, very seriously and we want to make sure that we do our very utmost to ensure that those interactions don't occur."
Seafish Tasmania expects other species will make up 1 per cent of the factory trawler's catch.
and later on 11th September - some better news!
THE controversial FV Abel Tasman super trawler faces a two-year ban on fishing in Australian waters under planned changes to environmental law that have been hailed by recreational fishermen but will cost dozens of jobs.
Environment Minister Tony Burke said yesterday that more scientific work needed to be done to deal with concerns about the effect of the 142-metre trawler - formerly known as the FV Margiris - on dolphins, seals and seabirds.
Green groups and recreational fishermen welcomed the news. But the ship's local operator, Seafish Tasmania, said it would have to lay off 50 local workers.
The firm did not rule out legal action and said it had made no contingency plans for the ship, which is docked at Port Lincoln in South Australia.
Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig said the federal government would also carry out a ''root and branch review'' of fisheries management law in response to concerns about the 18,000-tonne fish quota given by fisheries authorities to Seafish Tasmania for the trawler.
Mr Burke said his concerns centred on the fact that, unlike smaller fishing boats, such a large factory ship with onboard processing and freezing facilities could fish for prolonged periods in the same area.
This raised the danger of creating a ''localised major bycatch issue'' - in which an unacceptable number of protected species such as dolphins could be caught by accident in the net in a single area of the ocean.
''When you have a vessel with a large freezer capacity, that therefore is able to remain for extended periods of time in the same part of our oceans, there are a different set of environmental considerations and that's the difference,'' he said.
However, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, which had previously approved the quota, told The Age just last month that ''there is no evidence to suggest that larger boats pose any greater risk to either the target species or the ecosystem''.
In fact, the authority said that large boats with freezing capacity such as the Abel Tasman were less likely to cause localised depletion of fish stocks because they could range further from onshore processing facilities.
Gerry Geen, director of Seafish Tasmania, did not rule out legal action. But he added: ''We haven't got that far yet.''
He could not say what would happen to the ship in the immediate future.
''We didn't have any contingency plans because we thought we were going to be fishing legally in Australian waters,'' he said.
Mark Nikolai, of the Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing, said the ministers had ''done exactly what the recreational fishing sector has asked to be done''.
John Burgess, vice-president of the Australian National Sport Fishing Association said: ''On behalf of all the recreational groups we represent, both those ministers have our eternal thanks for showing the gumption to respond to this the way they did.''
Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/national/twoyear-ban-likely-for-trawler-20120911-25qo9.html#ixzz26Ag2a466