From Narrowmine News: Greenpeace locks down Australia-bound supertrawler
Alarm over the biggest ship ever planned to fish Australian waters
has spilled into direct action, with the supertrawler Margiris locked
down by Greenpeace.
Climbers and divers are preventing the
9600-tonne ship from leaving the Dutch port of Ijmuiden to begin the
journey to Australia, the environment organisation said.
0300 AEST activists put a chain around the ship's propeller, and two
climbers are currently hanging on the cables between the ship and the
quay, to prevent the ship from beginning its journey to Tasmania,"
The Dutch-owned ship is being re-flagged
to Australia ahead of its scheduled introduction within weeks,
according to joint venturers Seafish Tasmania.
this ship has gone it has destroyed fish stocks and ruined fishermen's
livelihood," said Nathaniel Pelle, Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner.
with a broad cross-section of the community that has declared the
Margiris unwelcome, we will be ramping up efforts to stop it doing the
same in Australian waters”
Seafish wants to use the
Margiris to fish for a quota of 18,000 tonnes of mackerel and redbait,
ranging from waters off New South Wales, south around Tasmania and
across to the Great Australian Bight.
vessel is more than twice the size of the previous largest ship licensed
to fish in Commonwealth waters. The 4400-tonne Ivan Golubets briefly
fished deep southern waters in 1992, the Australian Fisheries Management
Authority (AFMA) said.
Seafish director Gerry Geen said
the AFMA-set quota was estimated to be five per cent of the total
Australian fishery for so-called "small pelagic" fish.
not the size of the boat that matters, it's the size of the quota," Mr
Geen said. "The normal process is under way now for Margiris to be
registered as an Australian vessel. Seafish Tasmania aims to start
fishing in August."
Opponents say that such large scale
catches will drastically affect local fisheries based on larger fish
that depend on the small pelagics. The high protein fish are destined
for human consumption in West Africa, where the Margiris is claimed by
Greenpeace to have plundered local fisheries.