Greens spokesperson for Fisheries, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, welcomed the arrival of the ACV Ocean Shield to Hobart today.
Senator Whish-Wilson said “The ice-rated $150 million ACV Ocean Shield was purpose-built to patrol in environments like the Southern Ocean.
“We hope it is on the way to the Southern Ocean to provide the patrols it was promised to do.
“The Sea Shepherd has been actively deterring Patagonian tooth fish pirates in Australia’s area of interest. This has included preventing three boats from fishing and hauling up 25 kilometres of illegal and damaging gillnets.
“If the ACV Ocean Shield is on its way to the Southern Ocean it is better late than never, although it should have happened at the start of the illegal fishing season not at the end.
“The illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean fund organised crime and damage our precious Southern Ocean and Antarctic environments.
“The patrols are intended to deter illegal fishing and deterrence necessitates a visible presence. It would be useful for the Government to outline whether or not this vessel is about to commence such patrols.
“The statements from Customs Minister Peter Dutton’s office refusing to comment on the location of the ACV Ocean Shield are farcical given that the vessel is visible to all of Hobart’s residents,” he concluded.