Parties refuse to ban super trawler

TASMANIA'S two major political parties have refused to commit to stopping a super trawler coming to Tasmania.

The Stop the Trawler Alliance yesterday demanded a permanent ban on super trawlers, saying the threat had not disappeared with the sale of the Margiris, which was renamed the Abel Tasman when in Australian waters.

In 2012, the federal government banned super trawlers from operating in Australia in response to fears from recreational fishers and environmentalists that the Devonport-based vessel would decimate the pelagic fisheries.

Environment Tasmania's marine coordinator Rebecca Hubbard said the Margiris had been charged with illegal fishing in France and investigated in Ireland.

"So when Australia's federal ban ends this year, Tasmania's oceans will again be under threat from these destructive freezer factory trawlers," Ms Hubbard said.

Premier Lara Giddings said it was a federal matter, and that science should be used to resolve the issue.

"If you can have sustainable fishing, then what's the problem?" Ms Giddings said.

Pembroke Liberal MLC Vanessa Goodwin said the Liberals had always opposed a super trawler in Tasmania but would not commit to legislation that would permanently ban one.

"We won't do anything to jeopardise the recreational fishing industry," Dr Goodwin said.

Greens primary industry spokesman Kim Booth supported a permanent ban.

Mr Booth said Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck was "desperate to bring a super trawler back to Tasmania".

Senator Colbeck declined to comment.

The Stop the Trawler Alliance is a joint initiative made up of recreational fishers and conservation groups.


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