The Australian Government blocked a Super Trawler from Fishing in their waters for at least the next two years.
The surprise victory in passing this bill came last minute and called into question the manner in which fisheries management was conducted in Australia. Earlier this week, SpeakUpForBlue.com posted an article on the Super Trawler, Abel Tansman (formerly known as the A/V Margiris) and the possibility of it fishing in Tasmanian waters with a potential quota of 18,000 tons of fish.
Listen to how the Bill got passed and why from the ABC (Australia) Podcast show PM:
It looked as though the Australian government was going to allow the Super Trawler to fish along their coast as the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) conducted a study to determine whether the quota number the Super Trawler would be allowed to catch. The quota of 18,000 tons of fish was considered very conservation by scientists and government officials.
However, the government ended up changing their minds as they were not happy with the way AFMA managed fisheries.
This is a very surprising statement!!! You never hear a government say the scientists and managers are not doing enough to properly manage the country’s fisheries. It’s usually the opposite. Governments are pressured by industry lobbying groups to increase quota sizes and allow more fishing to be done so the industry can make more money. So to hear a government SPEAK UP for THEIR BLUE and not allow a Super Trawler (also known as a Fish Factory) to fish in their waters is very surprising to me. It goes to show that governments are capable to realize they need to protect their environment and local fishery!
It seems that there is more to this story than the banning of the Super Trawler. The government passed a bill that would allow it to ban specific boats from fishing in their waters. The bill contained two exempt clauses: 1) The Recreational fisheries boats were exempt from the governments new powers; and, 2) There is a sunset clause where fishing would be banned if it is uncertain about the environmental consequences and during that time, it will conduct a review of fisheries management in Australia.
This bill is a really great thing and takes a conservative approach to managing the fisheries and the Ocean in Australian waters. The bill does not say it will ban ships permanently, but it will ban it until it can prove the Super Trawler will not have a negative affect on Australian Fisheries.
Do you think this bill will set a precedent for other countries or do you think the bill will be overturned in the near future?