FEDERAL Environment Minister Tony Burke admits there is potential for the FV Margiris to take a large catch from one area in Commonwealth waters near Tasmania.
The Dutch-owned super trawler that will be used by Seafish Tasmania is thought to be arriving in less than two weeks, despite widespread opposition from fishermen and environmentalists across the state.
Yesterday's ``National Day of Action'' super trawler protest in Hobart drew up to 300 boats that formed a fleet on the Derwent River, while a protest in Launceston's Brisbane Street Mall in Launceston saw up to 20 people voice their concern.
Speaking in Hobart yesterday, Mr Burke said large takes of fish from one area by large vessels like the FV Margiris was a legitimate possibility.
Premier Lara Giddings deflected state government responsibility.
``This is an issue that is the responsibility of the Australian government and not one that's within Tasmania's ambit,'' Ms Giddings said.
``This boat will not be fishing in Tasmanian waters but it will be fishing within a wide expanse of Australian waters.''
Mr Burke said the main focus should now be on the number of fish caught, and not the size of the boat.
``With this particular vessel there can be an added complication with the issue of large takes in a very localised area,'' Mr Burke said.
``It is important that that aspect of the science be brought into play and that's something that I'm sure AFMA will be taking account of.''
North-West recreational fisherman and protest organiser John Edwards said frustration over government inaction was mounting.
Mr Edwards described support in AFMA's science as ``blind faith''.
``We find it absolutely extraordinary with some of the evidence coming to light in recent weeks, particularly in relation to the science that AFMA has based the TAC on having been found by Dr Andrew Wadley to be basically a complete fabrication,'' Mr Edwards said.
He said it was highly likely that a protest on Devonport's Mersey River would be organised.
Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, who attended the rally in Hobart, said the support was remarkable.
``The government admitted that there has not been scientific research done for the last eight years,'' Mr Whish-Wilson said.
``It should show some leadership and be the one responsible for putting in place the research.''