The Tasmanian Greens have written to the Environment Minister Tony Burke seeking a guarantee that the super trawler Abel Tasman would not be allowed to operate in the small pelagic fishery in any capacity whilst a review of the fishery was underway.

Greens Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that the proposal by SeaFish Tasmania to use the vessel as a floating freezer to store fish caught by smaller vessels potentially posed an even greater threat to the small pelagic fishery.

“The same environmental concerns remain now as they did when the Minister made the decision to stop the super trawler from exploiting the small pelagic fishery,” Mr Booth said.

“Using the super trawler as a mobile freezer would greatly extend the capacity of smaller fishing vessels to operate in the small pelagic fishery.”

“This extended operation with more nets and more boats could create an even greater threat to the fishery than the Abel Tasman operating alone, and therefore requires even greater scrutiny.”

“The Minister promised a thorough review the fishery and the relevant legislation before a decision was made about the operation of the Abel Tasman, and the Greens will hold him to his word.”

“The Tasmanian and Australian public expect a full review of the fishery before any approvals are given.”

Download: Letter from Greens Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP to Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke:
Jan17_Letter_from_Kim_Booth_to_Tony_Burke_ATTACH.pdf