Seafish Tasmania has unveiled plans to use its super trawler as a ''floating freezer'' in Australian waters that it hopes will get around a ban on its operation.
Seafish will seek approval to buy fish from smaller fishing vessels and store it in the freezer area of the 142-metre-long Abel Tasman.
In October, the Federal Government declared the factory ship unlawful with Environment Minister Tony Burke citing concerns about its ability to freeze catch and continue fishing.
Seafish managing director Joe Pirrello says it does not violate the ban which only relates to using the super trawler to fish.
Mr Pirrello said there had been strong interest in the idea from fishermen.
``The smaller operators cannot fish economically to supply export markets. We will provide the facility to freeze, store and export their catches,'' he said.
``The reason for this is to freeze the catch while it is still fresh for human consumption so that it can be sent to Africa which is the main world market for small pelagic fish, instead of being turned into low-value fishmeal.''