Sign the petition to say NO to supertrawlers
The Turnbull Government’s plans for our National Network of Marine Sanctuaries drastically cut back areas of high protection, leaving them open to Supertrawlers and overseas fishing fleets to wreak havoc in our oceans.
Meanwhile, it was revealed in Parliament that Australia’s commercial fishing industry is in talks with the Australian Government about allowing overseas fleets into our waters.
Supertrawlers are despised by the Australian public. They are bad for local communities, bad for recreational fishing and bad for marine life.
Sign the petition to say NO to Supertrawlers and overseas fishing fleets in Australian waters.
Dear my MP (CC Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, Shadow Environment Minister Tony Burke and key senators in my state),
It was revealed in Senate Estimates late last year that Australia’s commercial fishing industry is in talks with the Turnbull Government to allow overseas fleets into our waters in order to dramatically increase the tonnage of fish taken. Now, I am deeply concerned that the Turnbull Government’s plans for Australia’s Marine Parks – currently tabled in Parliament – drastically strip back areas of highly protected green zone (Marine National Park / IUCNII) where Supertrawlers and overseas fishing vessels might plan to fish.
With 50% of Australia’s green zone protection removed by these plans, vast areas offshore from tourism meccas the Coral Sea, the Kimberley, Ningaloo, Lord Howe Island and Albany will be open to industrial scale fishing including trawling and longlining. These sanctuaries are hundreds of kilometres out to sea. The only ships with enough capacity to fish that far from port are found in overseas distant-water fishing fleets.
Australia’s borders have been closed to overseas fishing fleets for almost 30 years, following massive overfishing our tuna, prawns and sea-floor dwelling fish. But there are various ways that overseas vessels can be deemed Australian. For example, the Geelong Star (aka the Dirk Dirk) Supertrawler was brought into Australian waters. It was accredited under Australian law and subject to Australia’s fisheries regulations. And yet its operations resulted in high levels of bycatch – even a whale shark. The Supertrawler was NOT supported by the Australian public, recreational fishers or local fishing communities.
Bringing in Supertrawlers and overseas fleets would have little to no benefit to Australia’s economy or regional communities, with the fish being caught by overseas owned boats and crews, and sold into distant markets. And it would come at a great cost to local fishing communities and recreational fishers, while putting more pressure on vulnerable fish species, and other marine life caught as bycatch.
We must not expose Australia to the human rights abuses, organised crime and environmental destruction that have plagued other countries that have allowed distant water fleets in.
The loss of almost half of our green zones in the Turnbull Government’s marine parks plans will fail our oceans at a time when our marine life is in desperate need of help. They ignore decades of science, the advice of the Government’s own Independent Review, the wishes of local communities, and the voice of hundreds of thousands of Australians who have been consulted over the years.
I urge you to say no to Supertrawlers and overseas fishing fleets in Australian waters, and to do everything you can to ensure significant improvements are made to these plans to restore high level green zone protection within Australia’s marine parks.