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Supertrawler protest photos

On Saturday 11 August I attended the "Stop the Supertanker Protest National Day of Action" at St Kilda Beach in Melbourne Victoria. There was a large group of mostly young people, well prepared with signs and activities designed to convey their message visually.

Today I attended the “Stop the Supertanker protest National Day of Action” at St. Kilda Beach being among the first to arrive just before 11.00a.m. Fairly quickly though a large group of mostly young people and some children gathered. They drew a large sign on the sand filling each letter with the plentiful debris found on the same beach: it read STOP THE SUPER TRAWLERS. While I was there –approximately 50 minutes - there were no speeches. The group was making a visible rather than audible statement and the protest was photographed by the media. It was great to see Kelvin Thomson MP at the rally expressing to me his deep concern about the absolutely qualitative difference in harvesting marine life between a super trawler and conventional fishing methods – the former leaving nothing in its wake.

To me an activity like the supertrawler's seems, as well as being totally undesirable from so many points so of view, also unsustainable in its industrial methods and scale and complete disregard for the marine environment. It is yet another sign that humans are living beyond the capacity of the Earth and its biosphere to reasonably sustain its load of humanity. I guess the word that comes to mind to describe this activity is 'obscene'. It seems all the more unacceptable as the ship – the Margiris comes all the way from Europe to its damage!

Didn’t make it to today’s protest?

Sign the petition against this at http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-giant-fishing-trawler-in-tasmania

See also: Supertrawler repudiated by public opinion, Super Trawlers sucking last fish-stock from sea of 11&nbap;August.

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Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has responded to community concerns about the super trawler saying he is powerless to stop it, instead introducing a series of conditions to minimise the impact of the trawler on listed threatened species. Whilst it's good to see Minister Burke using his powers to act, the conditions put in place will not stop this super trawler (or others) destroying our marine life and fisheries.

Here's why:

- The conditions do nothing to address the concerns of conservationists and recreational or commercial fishers about local over exploitation of fish stocks

- Most of the conditions are standard for all trawlers - such as management plans for sea birds - but this does not stop protected bird species being caught in the first place

- The conditions allow up to 10 seals to be killed every day, if more are killed the a simple 'review' is triggered and the trawler is required to move 50 nautical miles. Trawlers can cover these distances in a few hours and given marine wildlife such as seals, dolphins and turtles are highly mobile this does nothing to protect them.

- The conditions do not address the flow on effect of localised depletion of fish stocks on the marine environment or the flow on effects to other marine wildlife who may lose their food source such as penguins, tuna, seals, whales and dolphins.

It is now time for Joe Ludwig to use his powers as Fisheries Minister to stop super trawlers destroying our fisheries - he should use his powers under section 91 of the Fisheries Management Act, which allow him to take action in 'exceptional circumstances' like this to ban super trawlers from our waters.

Tell Joe Ludwig it's time to protect Australia's fisheries and marine life from super trawlers - email him here:

Email Joe Ludwig
Authorised by Rebecca Hubbard of Environment Tasmania

Environment Minister Tony Burke in June released the Government's final network of marine reserves which - once proclaimed under national environmental law - will increase the number of marine reserves from 27 to 60, expanding the national network to cover more than a third of Commonwealth waters.

"For generations Australians have understood the need to preserve precious areas on land as national parks. Our oceans contain unique marine life which needs protection too," he said.

What's the point if a foreign mega-trawler can simply enter our Australian waters and suck up fish stocks, destroy local food chains, and kill by-catch? It's bringing overfishing to Australia, to feed West Africa and Asia, countries already victims of rampant overfishing.