DESPITE an industry and conservation push, both major parties have failed to back an outright ban on super trawlers operating in Australian waters.
Environment Tasmania and the Tuna Club of Tasmania combined yesterday to ask Labor and the coalition to consider banning super trawlers.
``The best case scenario for all Australian fisheries and marine life is if super trawlers are banned from Australian waters until they could be considered safe,'' Environment Tasmania's Rebecca Hubbard said.
``There is no solid science to show super trawlers could operate sustainability in Australian waters.''
Nobby Clarke, of the Tuna Club agreed, backing the Labor approach to engage an expert panel of marine scientists to calculate fish numbers.
``Our main concern was the overfishing of fish populations . . . but ultimately we believe there was a drastic lack of science in the fishery to suggest the current stock status,'' Mr Clarke said.
Liberal environment spokesman Greg Hunt told Ms Hubbard if elected, there would be no change to the law but blamed the government for bungling the process and ``approved the fishing plan to allow large scale freezer vessels for Australian waters''.
``The coalition, if elected, would not support actions that increase catch limits to unsustainable levels and we don't believe there will be a return of the super trawler,'' Mr Hunt said.
Despite local Labor support from Senator Lin Thorp, Environment Minister Mark Butler fell short of committing to a ban, saying it would consider the findings of an expert panel due to report back in October 2014.
``The Tasmanian Labor team remains implacably opposed to the super trawler in Australian waters . . . and we'll take the fight to Canberra, if we need to, to continue the moratorium,'' Senator Thorp said.
Ms Hubbard said owners of the Abel Tasman, formerly the Margiris, had been charged twice overseas for illegal fishing in Europe.
A federal court judgment on the validity of the two-year ban is expected any day.