The decision to allow the super trawler Margiris to fish in Australian waters has aroused a wave of opposition.
A coalition of environment groups has taken out a full page ad in The Australian. A flotilla of over 200 boats sailed up the Derwent River in protest. A 35,000 signature petition opposing the trawler has been presented to Parliament, and in a recent reader poll in the Adelaide Advertiser, 92 per cent of respondents were opposed to the ship being allowed to fish in Australian waters. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has referred to issue to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
The opposition is not surprising. It’s hard to believe the huge nets of the factory ship won’t trap large quantities of by-catch, unwanted species which usually die before they are released. The trawler could locally deplete the fish population, reducing the food available to southern bluefin tuna, dophins and seals in certain locations.
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