Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Super Trawler

In less than three weeks, there’s a blockbuster hitting our shores that you don’t want to see. It’s super-sized, super-destructive and its trail of devastation is coming to an ocean near you!

One of the world’s largest fishing boats, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has just finished fishing out the waters off West Africa, where it hammered already-exploited fish stocks and left it even harder for local fishers to catch fish. Now, an Australian Fishing company, Seafish Tasmania, want this factory trawler to plunder for small fish that are critical to marine ecosystems in waters off Tasmania.

Ironically, after the fish are caught they’ll be sold to African countries for human consumption for a measly $1/kg.

It’s difficult to fathom the size of this giant vessel - at 142 metres long and nearly 9500 tonnes it makes most Australian fishing boats look like bath toys. A floating factory and freezer, it can process over 240 tonnes (that’s 240,000 kilograms) of fish PER DAY and can store 6.2 MILLION kilograms of fish cargo.

But the devouring net of the super trawler won’t just catch small fish. Dolphins, seals and seabirds will likely be accidental victims of this massive trawler. The ‘excluder devices’ designed to protect threatened species are in no way guaranteed to work for a net this size.

Even the species spared from the net will feel the destruction of this factory trawler. The small fish it scoops up are a vital food source for critically endangered southern bluefin tuna, rare marine mammals, seabirds and other big fish that are important ecologically, as well as to recreational and other commercial fishers.

Our Ministers for fisheries and the environment have the power to prevent this industrial super trawler operating in Australian waters, but they need to hear you don't want it here. Opposition is growing but we need to make our voices louder. We need to speak up. We must convince them to turn this boat around.

The impacts of this decision go beyond this single fishery. Please make your voice heard and send a quick message to Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig and Environment Minister Tony Burke here…

Thanks for your help,

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