UNDERSTANDING THE SUPER TRAWLER, AND THE PENDING
If a boat is not an Australian boat, then it is unable to fish in Australian waters.
The legislation says "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".
So what is the management plan one might ask, other
questions that NEED to be answered include, what damage will it do, who gets
the fish, what do we pay for the fish, what benefits are there for Australia
and its people and of great importance, what will be the lasting results, and I
doubt any of these answers will impress.
What is the legal definition of an ‘Australian boat’?
A boat is defined as an “Australian boat” if it satisfies
any one of the following three conditions (as set out under subsection 4(1) of
the Fisheries Management Act 1991):
1. The boat is operated from Australia and is wholly owned
by an Australian resident or Australian company and was built in Australia;
which it is NOT
2. The boat is listed on the Australian Shipping Register,
except if it is owned by a foreign resident and under a demise charter
arrangement, which it is NOT
3. The boat has been declared by AFMA to be an Australian
boat under subsection 4(2) of the Fisheries Management Act 1991.
Demise charter means
"the demise, letting, hire or delivery of the ship to the charterer under
a charter party, by virtue of which the charterer has whole possession and
control of the ship (including the right to appoint the master and crew of the
ship)." (Shipping Registration Act 1981)
So the AFMA are directly responsible for the boats
registration to fish in Australian waters, and seafood Tasmania where the
fishing licence holders responsible for the original applications, the treasurer Wayne Swan gave the final approvals a few days ago, so Labor back this 100%.
What do Seafish Tasmania have to gain, you might ask,
reports show they will get a huge $1 a kilo, out of that they must pay all the running costs,
which I might add are huge, so Seafish Tassy will get a few cents a kilo, for
fish that the Australian public will never see, as it will all be shipped of
A letter obtained by Lateline
exposed Mr Geen's company, Seafish Tasmania, tried to get the quota for jack
mackerel doubled to 10,000 tonnes.
It is believed that to break even, the
Margiris needs to process a total of 15,000 tonnes of pelagic fish, and that is
to break even, yet as I have said, we get none, all the fish caught is heading
to South Africa!
Gerry Green is on 0408 387 949, he is also on the government board who agree to fishing quotas from what I have been told, 03 6257 3499 and there email is email@example.com It maybe worth calling them and asking questions.
The level of bycatch is reduced by the supposed tough measures by the Labor party, but not eliminated. Effectively, the Margiris is allowed to kill 10 seals every 50 nautical miles. Recreational fishers get in trouble if they injure or move a seal, but the Margiris is allowed to kill them, yet truths like this are not in the big sell when it comes to the supposed "Super Trawler", niether are the massive loss of jobs in the Industry.
The Tasmanian Conservation Trust says that 'the fish the
Margiris will target are a vital food source for important species like the
critically endangered southern blue-fin tuna, seabirds, marine mammals and game
The facts however they are spun, is that this boat will
devastate as it has elsewhere, our fisheries, with very little if any benefit
to the Australian people.
The approved quota is not broken down into smaller limits for
specific areas, which means the trawler could plunder our richest fisheries' the
environmental, economic and social impacts for Australia from my point of view
will be massive, as such if I had the ability I would sink the bloody thing.
Vessels like the FV Margiris and its fellow fleet of heavily
subsidised European trawlers have fished their own waters to near collapse and
they've brought fisheries to their knees everywhere they've been since', so how
exactly does this adhere to our FDMA management
planning to allow this boat Australian registration?
The acceptance of this boat opens the flood gate to more of this fleet to enter our waters, so if we do not act now, our fisheries are indeed to face some testing times, and our access to fresh affordable seafood will end up in the same sinking boat as our primary producers
Ask yourself, why the hell would any Australian government or
fisheries agent, condone such actions, remembering this is the beginning of more
to come, it will take jobs, devastate our dwindling fisheries and provide not a
single benefit other than a few bucks in the back pocket of a bloke who is far
from hard up.
Many countries have banned this fleet, how dare our
government allow the rape and pillage of our children’s lively hood, whoops isn’t
that what they do nowadays “Might I add one of the owners is also a member of a
government advisory panel that recommended these quotas.” But it seems
self-interest now runs rife in this once fine country
Margiris is more than twice the size of any boat to have fished Australian
Super trawlers can
be up to 144 metres long, and use trawl nets up to 600 metres long. The average
Australian commercial fishing boat is around 25 metres long.Super
trawlers can catch the equivalent weight of 20 buses in fish per day.
The Margiris can process up to 250 tonnes of fish per day and can store over
6000 tonnes (545 buses) of frozen fish – that means they can fish for months on
end without coming into port.Super
trawlers kill turtles, dolphins, seals and other marine animals.
This indiscriminate fishing method has a high level of bycatch, that is,
unwanted marine life. In the past 15 years, bycatch from 20 super trawlers
fishing off West Africa has killed an estimated 1,500 critically endangered
turtles, more than 18,000 giant rays, and more than 60,000 sharks.Super
trawlers destroy jobs.
These vessels use sophisticated technology and few crew members, while taking
the majority of the fish. In Europe, small-scale local fishermen have only been
allocated 20% of the fishing opportunities despite the fact that they represent
80% of all fishermen in Europe. Super
trawlers have a criminal track record
The Margiris and other super trawlers were ordered out of Western Sahara waters
after it was found
they were breaching international law in 2011. Super
trawlers collapsed the South Pacific fishery
Scientists said there were so many jack mackerel
in the South Pacific that the fishery was
impossible to overfish. Super trawlers, including the Margiris, fished so much that in 2006 the fishery collapsed to 10% of healthy
Fisheries managers are calling for fishing to be cut by
half with some scientists arguing for a five year total ban.Super
trawlers wiped out West Africa’s commercial fish stocks
trawlers, including the Margiris, started fishing off the West Coast of Africa,most commercial
fish stocks have become ‘fully exploited’ or ‘over-exploited’
There are no more fish.Senegal
banned all foreign trawlers from its waters
This was a result
of 52,000 local fishermen
threatening to take direct action
against the owners of foreign trawlers, due to the damage super trawlers have
caused to their fish stocks.
The Senegalese president then closed the fishery
entirely for six months to aid recovery. If
the little fish go, so do the big fish..
The Margiris will target Redbait, blue mackerel and red mackerel, which are
important species in the food chain. They are food for animals including the
bottlenose dolphin, fur seals and larger fish such as southern bluefin tuna and
trawlers have already harmed Tasmania’s fish
Large surface schools of the fish to be targeted by the Margiris - jack
mackerel - were once common off Tasmania until they were overfished by trawlers
more than 20 years ago. These surface schools soon disappeared and have not
been seen since. The Margiris are now targeting the deeper schools of
fisheries will be devastated, small fishing family's will loose work, more of these bastard boats will head our way, we
the people get nothing out of it, other than depleted fisheries, and some rich
bastard gets a few new cars to fill his garage, and the government as usual
have proven they don’t give a shit about our future, or that of our children,
in the same way they sell our land, minerals and industry to foreign interests,
and we will kick and scream for a few weeks until the next attack on our future
makes headlines, how very very sad.
Mark Aldridge Independent
federal candidate for Wakefield in South Australia
82847482 (08) or 0403379500