MARK ALDRIDGE - Lead Senate candidate for the "GREAT AUSTRALIAN PARTY"
The basic law that sheds light on the validity of Australian registration of the Super Trawler ·        
9 years ago In the early 2000’s a similar vessel “The Veronica” was knocked back due to adequate science on the increase in quotas needed to make is journey “Profitable” ·         

In 2011 the FSMA met with another trawler skipper that made it clear they had already decimated stocks in other regions, which is why they wished to fish in Australian waters. ·         

SFMA meetings were clear from their minutes, that they did not have an avenue to sell the present quotas, nor the science to increase the quotas needed to entertain a super trawler. ·         

In steps Gerry Geen, backed by the Dutch owners of the Marquis, in meetings with the SFMA he argued to increase quotas, for which he held the most licenses, on the same note others on the board who voted for the increases, also owned licences for the same pelagic species. “Questioning the issue of self interest” ·         

The quotas were raised by a majority vote noting several on the board opposed the increase for reasons of valid science and environmental issues ·         

In his 2011 report, the scientist who produced the estimates on which the Resource Assessment Group and AFMA based their decision to double the Jack mackerel east quota, warned that those Jack mackerel biomass estimates he produced ”are considered negatively biased and thus largely imprecise, and hence need to be treated with due caution”.4 He cited a number of shortcomings including a lack of needed data, the absence of a needed scientific model and the fact that sampling was done at the wrong time for the Jack mackerel spawning period”. ·         Gerry Geen offers money $400,000 to another board member to sort the science, yet the science used was still over 10 years old, which offended the criteria of the FSMA board. ·         

Gerry Geen thenstarts buying up the licences with what appears to be Dutch money, paying in excess of their usual value ·         

Those supporting the increase in such quotas all have a conflict of interest let alone ignorance of the usual science demanded before the raising of quotas ·         

The Dutch wishing to control their interests in the many brought up licences, demand Gerry Geen opens a new company with the Dutch as directors, so he names it the same as his present company “Seafish Tasmania” registering the new company in April 2010 a couple of months after he has ensured the quotas have been increased. ·        

The new company is named “Seafish Tasmania Pelagic” ACN 157193776 / ABN 87157913776 yet invoices say Seafish Tasmania, the new board of this new company has two Dutch members and Gerry Geen, with the ultimate holding company being PP GROEP KATWIJK B.V. , Dutch owned ·         

Shortfalls in the science become apparent for various reasons ·         

By Catch information raises public concern relating more to protected marine life rather than the just as disturbing affects on our native fisheries, another short fall in the scientific research needed to address a trawler of this size

The immediate joint task of the united ARFF and Recfish should be to show the Australian Government why it must stop the foreign-owned super trawler, the Margiris, the world’s second largest fish factory ship or freezer/trawler, from exploiting our stocks of small pelagic fishes in the SPF, Australia’s Small Pelagic Fishery. The SPF covers our huge 200-mile wide ocean ecosystems from Perth around to the Queensland border and for 200 miles around Tasmania. If we commercially overfish the SPF, as we have done with the majority of our other Commonwealth-managed fisheries, we can severely damage or crash the ecosystems on which countless other fish species, birds, seals and whales depend”. ·        

“Worse, because the Jack mackerel sampling was only part of a separate survey for another species, the researcher states: “…sampling design during that survey was not optimal to apply (the) Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM) for jack mackerel”.5 Here is a scientist telling us clearly in writing that the Jack mackerel population estimates which AFMA and the government are using to allow entry of the foreign super trawler are unreliable, imprecise, incomplete and should never have been used for such a purpose.” ·        

The science used albeit admittedly flawed, was produced from studys over 10 years old, yet the FSMA guidelines are clear, once research of its kind are over 10 years old, they become invalid “The Daily Egg Production Method (DEPM) survey cannot be used to set the Recommended Biological Catch (or quota) once it exceeds the age 5 category”. (5.3 of the Act) ·         

The Marquis is not licence to catch a variety of species that indeed will be targeted in the thousands of tonnes by the lack of ability to adequately distinguish the different species through sonar. ·        

In any event these catches that are not licensed to be kept by the ship, so will be tossed over the side dead, denying Australian fisherman valuable licensed catches, and indeed precious feed stock for a variety of important sea life. ·         

This action in itself affects the quota values of many are licence holders including South Australian sardine fisherman.   

We are being told a variety of lies, in particular relating to being able to ban the Marquis from our waters,   

“Total allowable catch (or quota) determinations are legislative instruments and are therefore subject to parliamentary scrutiny, including a period of disallowance”, Section 91 of the Fisheries Act also allows numerous avenues and in any event the Australian registration of a foreign fishing trawler is reliant on an “Acceptable management plan” which cannot be supplied without adequate science   ·         

Section 4.2 of the Act states: if there are threats of serious or reversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty, should not be used as a reason to post-phone measures to prevent environmental degradation. ·         

FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ACT 1991 - SECT 20 Amendment or revocation of plan of management (1)  AFMA may at any time amend a plan of management  (2)  If AFMA amends a plan of management, it must:  (a)  give written notification of that fact to each person who is the holder of a statutory fishing right granted in accordance with the plan and  (b)  inform the person where copies of the amended plan may be obtained.     (3)  AFMA may revoke a plan of management. ·        (4)  Where a plan of management for a fishery is revoked under subsection (3), statutory fishing rightsfishing permitsforeign fishing licencesscientific permitsforeign master fishing licences and fish receiver permits granted by AFMA that relate to the fishery cease to have effect in relation to the fishery. ·         

“If a boat is not an Australian boat, then it is regarded as a foreign boat.  If a boat does not satisfy the legal definition of an Australian boat, it is not allowed to be used to fish under a fishing permit or statutory fishing right granted by AFMA, unless allowed under the relevant management plan”. ·        

In assessing applications, AFMA places a high degree of importance on whether the proposal is in Australia’s interest. ·         

Approval will only be given where the vessels will operate within the management rules of the particular fishery for which it would be used. ·        

NOTE; (If the management plan is not based on science that adheres to the FSMA guidelines, there are various avenues to revoke the trawlers licences and indeed its quasi Australian registration, along with any quota increases allowed under the Act)    

The Issues are clouded but evident, self interest on the board allowing quotas is unacceptable, the science has failed to meet the legislative requirements in relation to increased quotas, the management plan has not addressed the by-catch issues relating to a ship of this size and design or should be able to use the increased quotas, the ownership of the licences is in question and the interests of the people and the country are not best served by the trawlers existence in our waters, and there are avenues on many grounds to send the bastard packing, Mark 

Mark Aldridge Independent federal candidate for Wakefield SA

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