Federal Liberal Government has no credibility on super trawlers
The Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson attended today’s community rally against the Super Trawler in Hobart and provides the following comment about the ongoing debate.
Senator Whish-Wilson said “Senator Richard Colbeck has done everything possible to avoid scrutiny in his handling over super trawlers fishing in Australian waters.
“His two major announcements in relation to super trawlers have been ‘dump and runs’ late on Christmas Eve and the day before Good Friday, in a clear attempt to limit debate and avoid scrutiny.
“The hundreds of Tasmanian people turning out in protest this weekend are right to not to trust this government in making sensible fisheries decisions.
“Has Senator Colbeck has picked an arbitrary size limit for the banning of vessels above 130 metres for shallow political reasons, or is this based on sound science?
“Last week Senator Colbeck stated ‘This government is committed to a balanced and informed approach to fisheries management, we will continue to make any decisions regarding access to all Australian fisheries based on sound science’.
“If this is correct, he should immediately release the science on which this important decision was based.
“Senator Colbeck has no credibility in talking up the science behind his super trawler decisions unless he releases the science for public scrutiny by which he set the 130 metre threshold.
"If he doesn't, how can the public have confidence that boats over 130 metres are unsustainable and need to be banned, but slightly smaller vessels are OK?
"On one hand the Liberals are saying the size of the trawler doesn't matter, but on the other they are saying big boats are bad and should be banned. No wonder people are sceptical.
“Only last week the US fisheries regulators implemented an immediate ban on commercial fishing for sardines because of a massive crash in stocks, meanwhile in Australia the Liberal government appears to be doing everything it can to open up these fisheries for exploitation,” he concluded.