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Super Trawlers sucking last fish-stock from sea

PROTEST TODAY (Now!) 11 AM St Kilda Beach, behind Luna Park. See: http://stopthetrawler.net/national-day-of-action-to-stop-the-super-trawler/ So many threats to our oceans, bays and rivers….where to start? One of the most worrisome issues at present is the massive Super trawler Margiris on its way to Tasmania and set to start vacuuming up our mackerel and red bait fish stocks.


The Margiris is part of the heavily subsidized European trawler fleet, and is the subject of recent allegations of overfishing stocks in the South Pacific and off West Africa. The company Seafish Tasmania has proposed a joint venture with the Dutch owners of the vessel and they plan to catch 18,000 tonnes of small bait fish for freezing into 20 kg blocks and exporting to Nigeria for $1/kg for human consumption. Meanwhile, our major supermarkets are offering us Nile perch and various other tasteless species imported from Africa. How crazy is this?

If our government had the guts to say NO, this wouldn’t be happening. Please try to convince Federal Ministers Joe Ludwig (Fisheries) and Tony Burke (Environment) by sending emails as suggested by Save Our Marine Life-The Big Blue Army, at: http://www.saveourmarinelife.org.au For more interesting information see also Super Trawler heading our way http://www.westender.com.au/news/1342

Super Protest today (Saturday 11 Aug 2012)

If you care, please join the Stop the Supertanker protest National Day of Action this Saturday.

In Melbourne, it’s on at 11 AM at St Kilda Beach, behind Luna Park. See: http://stopthetrawler.net/national-day-of-action-to-stop-the-super-trawler/

Meanwhile back in Port Phillip Bay…

Whilst there wasn’t a peep in the mainstream media, Lloyd’s List Shipping News reported that the magnitude 5.5 earthquake that hit Victoria on 19th June triggered an environmental requirement for the Port of Melbourne Corporation to recheck its underwater toxic dump off Mordialloc for possible damage. We’ve heard nothing more since.

When then Federal Environment Minister Garrett gave his final approval for the Channel Deepening Project, the PoMC’s Environment Management Plan proposed annual visual checks of the dump site- and presumably a requirement for checks after unusual events such as an earthquake.

What is sadly missing from the EMP is any obligation to regularly test the water quality on and near the dumpsite for possible leaching of pollutants and toxicants from the +3 million tonnes of contaminated and toxic sludge PoMC dumped there from its Yarra dredging extravaganza.

Meanwhile back in Westernport…..

Local Liberal MP Neale Burgess is promising depressed local businesses that 4000 ongoing jobs would be created for the Hastings area from the State government’s pumped up proposals for the Port of Hastings. See: http://www.peninsulaweekly.com.au/news/local/news/general/hastings-port-a-goer-say-libs/2611198.aspx

That’s amazing, because we have learned that container operations at the Port of Brisbane are run remotely from Sydney, with container movement being entirely done by robotics. Apparently, global technology company Cargotec has acquired advanced software as well as 23 highly-skilled workers for the automation of straddle carriers from Asciano (parent company of Patricks who are also the operators of Port of Hastings). …….So what are the other 3977 workers that Hastings has been promised going to be doing??

Add to this Minister Napthine’s idea of driverless trucks trundling up and down to and from the Port of Hastings and it makes you wonder then what the supposed 4000 jobs in the Port of Hastings will entail. Poor old Hastings shop keepers hanging out for more business might be in for a shock.

Check out this link to the ABC TV Big Ideas program which talks about robotics in port operations. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2012/06/25/3530523.htm

Blue Wedges Editor

See also: Super Trawler protest photos of 12 August.

Comments

IT weighs 9500 tonnes, drags a net the size of a football field and if stood on end would be taller than South Australia's tallest building.

Twice the size of the previous largest vessel ever to fish Australian waters, the 140m monster is due to arrive early next month. It will largely be based in Tasmania, but it is expected to trawl the waters of the Great Australian Bight and will likely dock in Port Lincoln.

Vote NO

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania) said the federal government had no fisheries management plan, particularly for local depletion. Federal Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig had failed to adequately address concerns raised in 25 questions about the super-trawler asked by the Greens, he said.

Environment Minister Tony Burke has weighed into the debate on a super trawler bound for Tasmania, saying it brings a risk of localised overfishing. Mr Burke says the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) usually focuses on number of fish caught, not the size of the ship.

"With this particular vessel, there can be an added complication with the issue of large takes in a very localised area," he said. Obviously the bigger the ship the greater its capacity to rape and plunder local marine life.

Greenpeace has previously confronted the Margaris off the West African coast where they have been pursuing a campaign against European super trawlers, in Greenpeace's views, plundering West African fisheries. It's been accused of causing overfishing in West Africa, and ironically, our local fish would be exported to West Africa. Globalization's greedy and rapacious quest for natural resources, for jobs and economic benefits, is a polite term for international predation of smaller, weaker nations, to feed the burgeoning populations of the world - populations that are outstripping local food supplies of fish.

As of 9.52pm on Sunday 12 August, 554 or 92% of the 554 respondents voted No to the question "Should the super-trawler FV Margiris be allowed to fish in Australian waters?" whilst a miniscule 4 answered Yes.

One who voted No explained his opposition:

How the hell can there be a mixed reaction. There should be only one action taken and that is to totally ban fishing such as this.We have only one planet , the more we have of environmental vandalism like this, the less the rest of us have of our planet to share.Way too greedy. The state and federal governments should ban this vessel immediately.