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Australian Government continues to turn blind eye to pirate fishing vessels in our Antarctic waters

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 2 Feb 2015

The Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is calling on the Australian government to immediately deploy the Customs vessel ACV Ocean Shield to intercept the two pirate vessels currently illegally fishing off the coast of Australian Antarctic Territory.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “It is not good enough that the Sea Shepherd has had to, yet again, do the Government’s job.

“The Australian Government is sitting on its hands as two pirate vessels are plundering precious sea life not far from our Mawson Antarctic Station in Australian’s Antarctic Territory.

“The Liberals promised Southern Ocean patrols at the last election. They broke this promise last summer.

“And despite a recommendation from the tri-partisan Southern Ocean Senate Inquiry, and Customs promising two forty-day patrols this summer, there is no boat on the horizon.

“The Liberal government has given a green light to pirates to damage the Antarctic environment.

“The Government’s all-around incompetence is hurting our efforts in the Southern Ocean. There is no leadership.

“Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s ability to deliver the patrols as promised has shown to be totally lacking.

“Fisheries Parliamentary Secretary Richard Colbeck seems to think giving the pirates a slap on the wrist and setting them free in Malaysian ports is an effective deterrent.

“And new Customs Minister Peter Dutton is not willing to comment on the lawlessness happening in the Southern Ocean on his watch.

“Someone needs to immediately take charge of the situation. Establish a joint Ministerial taskforce and get a patrol down to the Southern Ocean before any more environmental damage is done,” he concluded.

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