No Super Trawlers
Not now, not ever. Not here, not anywhere.
Two years ago, Australians united to stop the Margiris super trawler from fishing in Australian waters. Thanks to our combined efforts, the Australian Government put a two-year ban on these oversized fishing boats. But that ban is set to expire on 19 November and monster sized boats liked the Margiris are lining up to come back to Australia after having fished out waters across the globe. We need your help to ban these monsters for good.
What’s wrong with these monster boats?
All over the world – in Europe, West Africa, the South Pacific – local fisheries have collapsed in the wake of these super trawlers. Now Australia’s fish stocks and the livelihoods of our fishermen are threatened by the return of these foreign-owned factory ships.
In the waters around Tasmania we have already seen a dramatic decline in the once-large surface schools of jack mackerel. Inviting super trawlers into our fishery would risk repeating that mistake. Jack mackerel and similar species are an important food source for endangered bluefin tuna, protected Australian sea lions, and other important species.
Wasteful, indiscriminate, unsustainable – these super trawlers are like giant vacuum cleaners of the sea, hoovering up entire schools of fish and wiping out marine life like dolphins and seals. The sheer size of these vessels is closer to a huge floating fish factory than a fishing trawler. With the biggest being over 144 metres in length, they can be longer than one and a half football fields. The mouths of their nets can be large enough to fly an A380 airplane through and they can process an enormous 250 tonnes of fish per day.
Off the coast of West Africa, thousands of dolphins, giant rays, sharks and turtles are sucked up by these factory ships each year and dumped back into the ocean, dead. They don’t stand a chance. We don’t want to import these bad practices to Australia.
These monster boats don’t just threaten our fish stocks but they also pose a huge threat to local and sustainable jobs. In Europe, where the biggest super trawlers are based, everyday fishermen have lost out to super trawlers. Despite representing 80% of the fishermen in Europe, small scale operators only receive 20% of the quota because super trawlers have squeezed them out.
What has the Margiris been up to since we kicked it out?
Since the Margiris left Australia, it has been back to its old bad habits - fishing in West Africa, including Western Sahara, which was deemed illegal by the EU parliament, and the South Pacific where the margiris and other EU super trawlers already crashed the fishery in just a few years in a highly publicised case of overfishing.
Even more scandalous is the track record of illegal behaviour the Margiris’s owners are associated with. Since we turned it away, the Margiris herself has been implicated in a case of illegal transshipment off the Pacific coast of South America, and its owners have been involved in three high profile illegal fishing cases in Europe, including the illegal dumping of 1.5 million kg of edible herring in order to make room in their freezer for higher value fish.
What’s the solution?
The Australian Government can stop the threat of foreign super trawlers fishing Australian waters by making the current temporary ban permanent.
The global industrial fishing fleet is 2-3 times too big for the world’s fish stocks to sustain. This excess fishing capacity has meant that now the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that around 30% of fish stocks are depleted or overexploited and more than half are fully exploited, meaning fish stocks won’t be able to match the growing demand for cheap seafood.
How you can help
We stopped the super trawler in 2012, with your help, we can do it again.
Take action: email your federal MP to let them know Australians don’t want monster super trawler boats fishing out our waters. Not now, not ever. Not here, not anywhere.