Fremantle MP Melissa Parke has today announced that she will bring a bill to Federal Parliament when it next sits seeking to stop super trawlers from operating in Australian waters.
It’s a great opportunity for Australian Parliament to demonstrate Australia’s commitment to sustainable fishing, marine conservation and solving the global overfishing crisis. With more than 80,000 Australians signing online petitions (add your voice here ccwa – stop trawler alliance), here’s hoping the majority do the right thing and back this important piece of legislation.
The move also comes amongst new revelations that the quota for the Margiris may not be legal after conflict of interest breaches of process in setting the quota (ABC report). Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has described the quota as now not being worth the paper it is written on.
Press release below:
MELISSA PARKE: PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL TO STOP SUPERTRAWLERS
Federal Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, today announced she will introduce a private Member’s bill when Parliament next sits to protect the future of Australia’s oceans and fisheries.
“I have very serious concerns about the impacts of a super‐trawler like the MV Margiris on the Australian marine environment and as a result I intend to bring a private Member’s bill to prevent this kind of large‐scale trawling operation in Australian waters,” said Ms Parke.
“It’s very clear to me that the precautionary principle has to apply in this case. Our oceans and fisheries are both too precious and too fragile to be subject to the Godzillas of the fishing world in the form of super‐trawlers.
“That’s the last thing we need at a time when the Labor government has just put in place the largest network of marine sanctuaries in Commonwealth waters, including the largest single sanctuary off the south‐west corner of Western Australia.
“At 142 metres long, the MV Margiris is the world’s second largest trawler and there are legitimate concerns about the size of the vessel, its fishing quota, and the methods it uses to catch fish. I am also concerned about the potential for marine animals like dolphins and seals to become caught in large fishing nets.
“As fishing technology becomes more advanced we have to regard the sustainability of our oceans and fisheries as paramount. There is a real and growing risk of localised overfishing and we need to better understand the potential impact of this vessel and similar large and crude fishing practices on our precious ecosystem and smaller fishing
“I am giving consideration to how the bill will operate to ensure that when there’s an attempt to introduce new vessel types, technologies or practices that will damage or pose unacceptable risks to our oceans and fisheries there are effective safeguards and protections in place to stop that from occurring.”