Permanent trawler ban sought

TASMANIA environmentalists are not satisfied by Prime Minister Tony Abbott's commitment that the super trawler will "stay banned".

Environment Tasmania's marine spokeswoman Rebecca Hubbard welcomed Mr Abbott's statements in Federal Parliament earlier this week but said the fight would go on until all super trawlers were permanently banned from Australian waters.

A temporary ban designed to block the FV Margiris, also named the Abel Tasman, from fishing in Australian waters is due to expire in November.

New legislation will be required to implement a permanent ban.

While it is up to the Federal Government to act, environmentalists and recreational fishers have highlighted the issue in the lead up to the state election, urging the state Liberals and Labor to lobby their federal counterparts.

"I think Mr Abbott is responding to the huge pressure from the Australian community which has been seeking a permanent ban.

"Many things have been said in the heat of an election campaign, until there is a Bill tabled people are not going to rest," Ms Hubbard said.

Greens Bass MHA Kim Booth told Greens supporters yesterday not to believe the comments which appear to contradict Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck, who has said repeatedly he wants a solution based on science.

An expert panel formed to review the science on super trawlers and their impact on fisheries is due to report to the federal government in October.

"Make no mistake, Richard Colbeck will have that boat back on the horizon as soon as he possibly can," Mr Booth said.

Senator Colbeck's office did not return The Examiner's calls yesterday.


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