Today the Senate passed a resolution put forward by Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson calling on the Federal Government to better protect marine mammals in light of the eight dolphin deaths that resulted from the operations of the super trawler Geelong Star.
Senator Whish-Wilson said “I am pleased that the Senate voted to recognise that the Geelong Star dolphin deaths were unacceptable.
“The government’s Expert Panel warned that large factory freezer vessels would negatively affect protected marine wildlife and yet the Geelong Star was given the green light to go fishing.
“The consequence of licensing the operations of the Geelong Star has been four seal deaths and eight dolphin deaths.
“Today the Senate voted to say that more must be done to protect the precious marine life of our oceans,” he concluded.
Senator Whish-Wilson: To move—That the Senate—
(a) in regard to the operation of the FV Geelong Star in the Small Pelagic Fishery, notes:
(i) the Report of the Expert Panel on a Declared Commercial Fishing Activity - Final (Small Pelagic Fishery) Declaration 2012 which found mid-water trawling by large factory freezer vessels would negatively impact on protected species such as seals, dolphins and sea birds,
(ii) recent Australian Fisheries Management Authority reports that four dolphins and two fur seals were killed on both the first and second fishing trips of the FV Geelong Star, and
(iii) media comments by the Minister for the Environment (Mr Hunt) indicating that the dolphin deaths are unacceptable and outrageous; and
(b) calls on the Government to protect cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in Australian waters.