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Deadline Monday: save our seas from the super trawler

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Peter Whish-Wilson 7 Sep 2012

Dear friend,

The super trawler Margiris has arrived in Australian waters and we have one last chance to stop this vacuum cleaner of the seas from damaging our precious marine environment and potentially the fishing communities who rely on it.

Senators will vote on what the Margiris is allowed to trawl for on Monday. Write to your Senator today to save our seas from the super trawler.

Our oceans have never been subjected to anything like the Margiris. It's twice the size of the largest trawler to have ever fished in Australian waters. It can catch more than 90,000 tons of fish every year.

Super trawlers have developed reputations, all around the world, for devastating local marine environments, vacuuming tonnes of baitfish out of the food chain and killing dolphins, seals and turtles. Yet the Government has decided to approve a huge increase in the fishing quotas to allow the Margiris to do what its Dutch owners want. Environment Minister Tony Burke has even given the Margiris the green light to potentially catch and kill up to nine seals a day.

Fishing communities, some marine scientists and a whole host of community organisations have asked to see more work done on the science backing the Government's case, especially in the area of the potential "local depletion" of fish stocks.

As it stands, they want to rubber stamp the trawler and set it loose without a fisheries management plan that will satisfy key stakeholders in this debate-recreational fishers, conservationists and many concerned Australians.

But we've got one important chance to stop it.

Tell your Senator to save our seas from the super trawler now.

On Monday, Senators will vote on my motion to disallow the super trawler from fishing its quota. If they support it, we can take the time to find out if it will ever be safe to allow it into our waters.

If Senators don't vote for it, the Margiris will be allowed to trawl from southwestern WA, right along our southern coasts, and up to Brisbane. Tasmania is directly in the firing line. The vote on Monday is the last chance for ALP and Coalition Senators to halt the super trawler.

Please, write to your Senators right now - and tell them to stop this trawler.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Whish-Wilson

P.S. Next Monday will be a big day for our marine future: as well as the super trawler vote, the Government will tally the final numbers commenting on their proposed marine parks. The network is under attack from the usual suspects. Showing your support for marine protection before Monday is your best chance to strengthen the parks to make sure that precious places are protected from oil drilling and trawlers like the Margiris. Find out more and take action for marine parks today.

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