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AFMA should stop making excuses for the Geelong Star and send it home now

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 30 Jan 2016

Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says that with the Geelong Star leaving another trail of dead protected marine species it is time for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to send the factory-freezer vessel home now.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “If a member of the public had killed seven albatross over a week they would be charged under Australian environmental laws. If over the period of a year a member of public had killed some dolphins, some more dolphins, then some seals and finally some albatross then that person would probably end up doing jail time.

“But it is one law for the member of the public and another for the Geelong Star. The Geelong Star has been given a license to kill protected marine species and it’s time its license was revoked.

“AFMA keeps giving the Geelong Star the all clear to go fishing, and then time after time the Geelong Star kills protected species in our waters. This entire process risks making a mockery of fisheries regulation in Australia. It appears AFMA is failing to properly manage the Geelong Star and this is damaging their reputation and the reputation of the entire fishing industry.

“These albatross deaths occurred after AFMA had lifted the night ban on fishing for this vessel and they had given the all clear. How many more excuses will AFMA provide? The Greens believe this vessel and their fishing practices are simply not safe for our waters and protected wildlife.

“The Expert Panel advised that sea birds were at risk from these practices. AFMA need to do their job properly and now send the Geelong Star packing,” he concluded.

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