Super trawler given the green light for Tasmania

Greenpeace
The world's second largest commercial fishing vessel, the super trawler 'Margiris', will soon begin fishing in Tasmania, approved by the Australian government.

The 142m Dutch-owned 'Margiris' will be the biggest trawler to ever fish Australian waters and specialises in the type of factory fishing environmentalists claim is unsustainable.

The federal government has approved the ship being re-flagged and moving to Tasmania, where it will be allowed to catch up to 17,500 tonnes of small baitfish each year under a joint venture with Seafish Tasmania.

The target fish include redbait, jack mackerel and blue mackerel, which are prime food for southern bluefin tuna, listed as 'Conservation Dependent' and albatross, listed as 'endangered' or vulnerable' and a vital part of the southern ocean food chain.

Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for 'some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet'.

'There has never been a trawler of this scale in Australian waters to my understanding before and that is a serious concern that we just don't know what effect it will have on the food chain,' Greens MP Kim Booth said.

Seafish Tasmania said the factory trawler will process its catch into 20kg blocks which will then be shipped and sold to African and Asian countries as low-cost food.

More at http://www.greenpeace.org.au/blog/?p=4987