The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) are trying to protect themselves from scrutiny by disbanding the Small Pelagic Fishery Assessment Group (SPFAG), which was set up to ensure rigorous oversight of the impact of commercial fisheries by trawlers such as the Geelong Star.
One of the primary arguments for a ban on super trawlers is lack of on the depletion of small pelagic fish stocks, and removing the body with a major focus on scientific feedback has provided AFMA with an avenue to perpetuate the secrecy around this issue.
The Liberal Party took to the 2014 election a promise to see a ban on trawlers into the future, and skirting around the issue with semantics does not remove the potential for significant adverse impacts on our marine resources.
It’s definitely time for the State Liberal government to step up and lobby their federal counterparts to ensure Tasmania’s interests are protected and to prove that they do in fact work for the Tasmanian people.
We have today written to Minister Rockliff in these terms and sought advice on what, if any, attempts his government have made to represent their constituency on this matter.
Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Fisheries spokesperson