Tuesday, 5 May 2015
Abbott Government's mindless obeisance to foreign-owned multinational commercial fishing corporations has had the inevitable result
The 100% Dutch-owned subsidiary of Parlevliet & Van der Plas Beheer B.V. the Australian registered Seafish Tasmania and its super trawler hired from the parent company, the now rebranded Geelong Star, have been found to have committed the inevitable environmental crime associated with large factory ships – killing prohibited species as part of their by-catch.
The Abbott Government would have been well aware that classifying commercial fishing trawlers on length of vessel and not freezer storage capacity would lead to adverse environmental impacts but, in its mindless rejection of any measure put in place by the former federal Labor government, Tony Abbott & Co have shown that far-right ideology is more important that preserving sustainable food resources and biodiversity of marine life for the benefit of present and future Australian citizens.
The Guardian, 3 May 2015:
The Australian environment minister, Greg Hunt, has condemned as “unacceptable and outrageous” the killing of a dozen dolphins and seals by a factory fishing trawler.
The Geelong Star, a ship that environmental groups and some MPs wanted banned from fishing Australian waters, voluntarily returned to its home port after catching four dolphins and two seals on its second local outing.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) had previously said the ship would face stricter controls after it also caught and killed four dolphins and two seals in its nets on its first trip.
Hunt released a statement on Sunday saying he was “absolutely appalled” by the news, ABC reported.
Hunt said he would write to the AFMA and to Tasmanian senator Richard Colbeck, the parliamentary secretary for fisheries and a strong defender of the trawler’s methods.
The Geelong Star has factory freezer capabilities but escapes a permanent ban on so-called super trawlers because at 95 metres it is under the 130-metre size limit.
Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the government should cancel the trawler’s fishing licence and management plan immediately.
“They’ve failed twice. The regulator has failed in its job to protect dolphins and seals and who knows whatever other marine life and the boat needs to go home,” he told ABC.
Colbeck released his own statement saying the further deaths of marine mammals was “very bad news and is not welcomed by anyone”.
He said the decision of operators Seafish Tasmania to “voluntarily return to port is appreciated”….