Recreational fishers and conservation groups launch a joint campaign

I have been asked to respond to this on behalf of Ron Denne, President of the Longford Fishing Club.
The Super Trawler subject was raised at the Longford Fishing Club meeting on the 4th February 2014. The vote by attending members was unanimous that we do not support such a vessel operating in Australian waters”
Kind Regards, Greg Davis on behalf of Ron Denne
The next Tasmanian state election is scheduled to be held on 15 March 2014 to elect all 25 members to the House of Assembly. 
The 16-year incumbent Labor government, currently led by the Premier of Tasmania Lara Giddings, will attempt to win a fifth consecutive term against the Liberal opposition, led by Opposition Leader Will Hodgman. 
The Greens party is currently led by Nick McKim.
Recreational fishers and conservation groups launch a joint campaign
Fishers and Conservationists Seek Election Commitment to Permanently Ban Super Trawlers
Recreational fishers and conservation groups today launched a joint campaign seeking pre-election commitments from all political parties to permanently ban super trawlers and prevent Tasmania becoming the dumping ground for companies using destructive commercial fishing methods.
The threat of a super trawler depleting Tasmanian fish stocks has not gone away, the Stop the Trawler Alliance said at the launch in Hobart, with a court challenge to the federal government’s 2-year ban still being considered and indications proponents will try again to bring fish factories to Tasmania’s waters.
The Stop the Trawler Alliance, which led the public campaign that resulted in a 2-year ban on super trawlers fishing in Australian waters in 2012, also revealed it has also grown in strength to include a range of recreational fishing groups.
New member groups include Game Fish Tasmania, TasFish Tasmanian Fishing News, Launceston Environment Centre, and the St Helens Gamefishing Club.
The Stop the Trawler Alliance is seeking pre-election commitments from all political parties for a permanent ban on super trawlers to help secure Tasmania’s marine resources for the future.
“We are seeking all political parties to commit to securing the long term health of Tasmania’s marine resources, such as its fish stocks, unique marine life and ecosystems that support vital industries, including tourism,” Rebecca Hubbard from Environment Tasmania said.
Since the Federal Government ban on super trawlers was put in place in November 2012 the owner of the super trawler Margiris has been charged with illegal fishing in France and is being investigated for illegal fishing in Ireland.
“So when Australia’s federal ban ends this year, Tasmania’s oceans will once again be under threat from these destructive freezer factory trawlers,” said Ms Hubbard.
“Concerns from fishers about the potential for localised over fishing and impacts on predators such as tuna remain unaddressed. While we welcome more scientific research into our fisheries, there is currently no management strategy that addresses localized depletion, which is unacceptable for a freezer factory trawler that can catch up to 5,000 tonnes in one trip, especially when we don’t know the movements of these fish. We’ve already seen localized overfishing in Tasmania in previous years with much smaller vessels. We need to protect the integrity of this fishery by banning large capacity freezer factory trawlers,” said Nobby Clarke of Game Fish Tasmania.
“The proponent of the last super trawler, Seafish, announced last week that it is still seeking to use super trawlers, however the public has made it patently clear that all super trawlers and the risks they pose to our fisheries and protected marine life such as dolphins and seabirds are unwanted,” Ms Hubbard said.
“We need to protect the ability of fishers to take their kids fishing, to protect the long-term sustainability of our fishing and tourism industries, and the lifestyles that we all hold dear. We work hard to earn our annual leave and we wont stand idly by if politicians try and allow greedy multi-national companies to decimate our vital marine resources and destroy the recreational fishing we all enjoy.  All political parties must commit to permanently ban super trawlers in Tasmania,” said Todd Lambert, State CEPU Organiser.
Over 7,300 people have already signed the joint petition for a permanent super trawler ban in Tasmania. The Stop the Trawler Alliance election campaign will involve public events, information stalls, and lobbying around the state over the next six weeks.
More information at
Canidates View 
Kim Booth (Bass) Greens Primary Industries spokesperson
Do you support a Super Trawler in Australian waters?
Greens Party Viewpoint 
The Tasmanian Greens do not support Super Trawlers operating in Australian waters or anywhere else. 
We were the first political party to respond to concerns raised by fishers that the Super Trawler planned to go fishing. 
We worked with the community to host a public forum that was attended by around 400 people.  We took the forums’ concerns to the House of Assembly and raised the issue of the super trawler for debate to ensure that the community knew the position of each of their elected representatives. 
We continued to work hard in parliament to successfully move for a motion to be passed with tripartite support opposing the FV Margiris proposed operations in Australian wasters and waters around Tasmania (22 August 2012). This contributed to the Federal 2 year ban coming into place.
We also undertook and released a report last year, Super Trawler: Netting more than their Fair Share, which provided a snapshot of how local Tasmanian businesses thought the super trawler would impact upon the state’s marine resource base economy.
The Tasmanian Greens will continue to stand up for the best interests of our ocean ecosystems, commercial operators and recreational fishers to keep our waters Super Trawler free.
Both the Tasmanian and Australian Greens have worked together to stop super trawlers from operating in Australian waters. What we say is what we do.
If you do support a SuperTrawler, what benefits do you see it bringing Tasmanians given above what is listed above that one could argue could be at risk?
We do not support a super trawler.
Personal Viewpoint of Kim Booth MP, Greens Member for Bass, and Greens Primary Industries spokesperson: 
No, never have. Never will. 
Nick Mckim (Franklin) 
On behalf of our marine ecosystem, the commercial fishing industry and recreational fishers, I say NO to the supertrawler. 
Nick McKim MP Greens Leader
Tim Morris (Lyons) 
As a member of the Tasmanian Greens and as an individual, I do not support the operation of Super Trawlers in Australian waters.
So many rural and coastal communities around Lyons – from the Tasman Peninsula to St Helens and Port Sorell – have spoken loudly that Super Trawlers are not wanted here. They threaten local businesses including our tourism and accommodation operators, hire charter boats, local tackle businesses, local fisheries, and the list goes on.
We can learn from the tragic examples elsewhere around the globe which have seen fisheries overfished to the point of collapse. We do not need to risk local depletion of our fish stocks here, nor the devastation to marine ecosystems which occur when the feed-chain is knocked out from the ‘bottom’ species.
Super Trawlers do not make economic sense, they risk our ocean ecosystems, and will impact on local communities and lifestyles. They have no place in Australian or Tasmanian waters.
Tim Morris MP, Greens Member for Lyons
Cassie O’Connor (Denison)
Do you support a Super Trawler in Australian waters? No, based on science and common sense.
That’s our party’s position too. Tasmania’s marine environment and sustainable fisheries are too important to let the ocean hoovers into our waters.
Cheers and good luck. We are with you!
Cassy O’Connor MP 
Paul O’Halloran (Braddon)
Personal Viewpoint – of Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP, Greens Member for Braddon
We are in the fortunate position to learn from elsewhere the effects when super trawlers are introduced into fisheries. 
There is clearly a strategy being developed by SeaFish Tas and the Liberal Party to soften the community up, using the guise of science, to reintroduce a super trawler to the waters of SE Australia, and probably to be based in Tasmania.
The lens that I put over issues like this and the questions I ask are these. What are the risks, what are the benefits and is it worth it. What will our children think if we allow this to happen? Who benefits and who loses?
Small pelagic fish (SPF) are at the bottom of many food chains and many marine ecosystems depend on them. 
The SE Pacific SPF has been reduced from approximately 30mt biomass to 3mt biomass since 1990, predominately by super trawlers. The east coast of Tasmania SPF has been decimated by smaller boats over fishing the resource.
The experience from elsewhere is that
These boats have depleted fish stocks everywhere they have been and are banned from many countries. They have had severe impacts on commercial and recreational fisheries, without exception. They are designed to make quick profits for operators and leave a legacy of depleted fisheries and fragmented ecosystems.
These boats lead to localised depletion because of their size, sophisticated tracking systems and huge nets 600m long with an opening 200 by 100m. There is simply no escape.
Bycatch continues to be a huge issue
The catch is indiscriminate – small, large, male, female, egg laden etc.
Science has been the rationale for allowing these boats into other waters.
The indicators of a fishery fished at unsustainable levels include more effort and bigger boats travelling further and catching less and smaller fish.
There are some honest answers needed to a couple of basic questions. How is it possible to export block frozen SPF to feed people in Africa at $1kg? Is the catch instead destined to feed farmed fish where the conversion ratio is around 4kg dried wild caught fish to provide 1kg dried of farm fish?
Super trawlers have no place in the future I see for either recreational or commercial fisheries in this state or this country.
I will never support their introduction here and will do all I can to keep them out.
Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP
Greens Member for Braddon
Amy Tyler (Bass)
I am standing as a Greens candidate for Bass. I do not support a super trawler. 
Cheers, Amy
Bill Harvey (Denison) Greens
I am vehemently opposed to super trawlers in Australian waters. The unsustainable plundering of finite ocean fish stocks by super trawlers around the globe is well documented. Many fisheries have collapsed and may never recover to the detriment and livelihoods of local fishers. It is critically important that fish stocks are managed well not just for our generation but for future generations of responsible recreational and commercial fishers. Ocean biodiversity will also suffer as a result of the other major effect of Co2 emissions - ocean acidification. The devastating impact of this on the small creatures at the base of the ocean’s food chain is becoming clearer. Increasing the pressure on fish stocks is just too risky and we should not tolerate or accept the potential devastating effects of super trawlers in our water. 
Bill Harvey
Thank you for your recent email requesting Labor Party policy position in respect to the super trawler.
I am pleased to respond on behalf of Tasmanian Labor and also add this response reflects my personal position on this issue.
This issue was first considered by Tasmanian Labor at our 2012 State Conference where delegates overwhelmingly supported a ban on the super trawler until the appropriate scientific research was undertaken.
The position of a ban, subject to scientific review, was endorsed by delegates at Labor’s 2013 State Conference and now included in the ALP State Platform.
You may also recall when the issue of the super trawler first emerged Federal Labor politicians most notably Julie Collins MP, Senator Lin Thorp and Senator Carol Brown were strident in their opposition. Unfortunately that opposition was not shared by Tasmanian Federal Liberal MP’s, especially Senator Richard Colbeck, who strongly supported this vessel and type of fishing.
At that time I wrote to the Commonwealth Minister responsible and pointed out a large number of concerns on behalf of the Tasmanian recreational fishing community.
It was pleasing the Labor Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke was able to achieve a 24 month ban to allow proper scientific research to be undertaken. Similar to Senator Colbeck’s support of the super trawler, the entire Federal Liberal Party voted as a block against Labor’s ban. It was equally disappointing the Tasmanian State Liberals did nothing to stand up to the Federal Liberals and point out the errors of their decisions and federal Liberal Party support for the super trawler,
I am appreciative of the concern the ban will expire on 19 November this year.
As a result I can inform you Tasmanian Labor’s strong opposition to the super trawler remains unchanged. This is the policy the Party will take to the 2014 state election.
Notwithstanding any future scientific evidence, Tasmanian Labor will not support a super trawler operating in Commonwealth waters around Tasmania,
Please be mindful of the fact the vessel is expressly prohibited to operate in Tasmanian waters and I can assure you trawling of any type will remain banned in Tasmanian waters under a Labor Government.
Should the Federal Liberal Government overturn Labor’s ban and allow the super trawler to operate in adjacent Commonwealth waters, a Tasmanian Labor Government will do absolutely everything in its power to have the decision reversed. I would be interested to know whether the Tasmanian Liberals would have the same gumption to stand up to Tony Abbott.
In summary I would hope the Tasmanian recreational fishing community recognise that over the terms of Labor Governments our support for recreational fishing has been demonstrated through achievements such as banning of commercial netting in Georges Bay, and allowing recreational fishing in most parts of marine reserves.
Tasmanian Labor always has and always will remain strong supporters of recreational fishing and to this end our Party will never support a super trawler operating in Commonwealth waters.
Bryan Green MP Member for Braddon
Scott Bacon (Denison)
Brenton Best (Braddon)
Thank you for your email, as you know I opposed the Super Trawler right from the start and still continue to oppose any new proposal that is the same scale/type project. Apart from the destruction it will cause our recreational fishing industry which many Tasmanians enjoy, it will decimate all of the jobs that are linked to recreational salt water fishing from runabout boat sales, repairs maintenance to retail supplies and tourism/ hospitality.
For example say the Super Trawler could create a gain of perhaps 30 maybe 40 jobs direct, but even if we were to assume it could create 100 jobs direct the damage it would cause to job losses and income in other areas would be many fold that amount.
To me, growing up in Tasmania and seeing what over commercialised fishing has done when I was kid to our recreational fishing, I cannot see any medium to long term good for Tasmania from this project.
I will continue to oppose the Super Trawler.
Kind regards, Brenton Best
Lara Giddings (Franklin) 
Bryan Green (Braddon)
David O’Byrne (Franklin)
Michelle O’Byrne (Bass)
Michael Polley (Lyons)
Graeme Sturges (Denison)
Rebecca White (Lyons)
Tasmanians have a strong connection with recreational fishing and it is a pastime enjoyed by thousands of people. 
The Labor party has always fought for fair working hours so people can use their weekends for recreation and family time and we know many people enjoy fishing on their days off. It’s a pastime shared between generations and we want to see the same opportunities to enjoy recreational fishing available for our kids and grandkids. 
Recreational fishing supports small businesses right around Tasmania, from the corner store, to the tackle shop to the local mechanic. We know that economic activity in small business is vital for our state’s prosperity and Labor will always fight for local communities. 
I do not support a super trawler in Tasmanian waters and I will strongly argue to protect our recreational fishers if the Australian Government looks to approve a super trawler in Australian waters.  My priority is to maintain the quality of life we enjoy in Tasmania, preserve the sustainability of our fishing industry and support local jobs. 
Brian Wightman (Bass)
Elise Archer (Denison)
Adam Books (Braddon)
Michael Ferguson (Bass)
Mathew Groom (Denison)
Peter Gutwein (Bass)
Rene Hidding (Lyons)
Thank you for your email to all Liberal Members and candidates in relation to a super trawler operating in Commonwealth waters. The Leader, Will Hodgman MP, has asked me to respond. 
You have asked for personal view points from our Members and candidates and as well as our Party view point and I can tell you that all Liberal Members and candidates, and the Party hold the following views:
We strongly respect, and want to protect, the recreational fishing sector in Tasmania and acknowledge both the positive lifestyle it promotes and the very substantial economic contribution it makes to the Tasmanian economy. With so many Tasmanians participating in recreational fishing we lean strongly towards expansion of opportunities to fish, better public facilities and the sustainable management of the target species of recreational fishers.
As an example, we recently announced funding to translocate huge amount of rock lobster from the deep south to be resettled into habitats far more accessible to the state’s recreational fishers. And only the Liberals will implement a moratorium on the creation of any new Marine Protected Areas in Tasmanian waters.
As you know, Tasmanian Members of Parliament have no jurisdiction about who can fish or how they can fish in Commonwealth waters. However, as you are also aware the State Liberals strongly opposed the Margiris/Abel Tasman proposal.
The Liberals will maintain that position for any similar super trawler proposal, unless there is new and compelling scientific evidence showing that the localised depletion and sustainability issues have been overcome.
As for a blanket ban on any trawlers with processing capacity in any Commonwealth waters remotely near Tasmania, this could have extreme consequences as it would call into question the widely applauded fishing operations elsewhere in Commonwealth waters by vessels, smaller than the Margiris, which often unload and resupply in Tasmanian ports.
With very strong action by the Federal Coalition in removing the hugely excessive marine protected areas put in place by the former Labor Government (in the Coral Sea) and the implacable push by the Greens for a chain of no-take MPAs in Tasmanian waters, only a majority Hodgman Liberal Government can be the true friends of the recreational fishing sector in Tasmania.
Please feel free to contact me if  you have any further questions.
Cheers, M.T (Rene) Hidding MP
Will Hodgman (Franklin) 
Jacquie Petrusma (Franklin)
Jeremy Rockliff (Braddon)
Mark Shelton (Lyons)
Martyn Evans (Lyons) 
As a candidate for Lyons in the upcoming election in March my stance is NO SUPER TRAWLER .As a family man,A mayor and a prospective politician I can see the effects that a super trawler will have on our fishery. With issues such as localized depletion of stocks off our coastline which has major implications for sport/recreational fisheries around our coast .No bait fish means no predatory fish which means no anglers .No anglers means less dollars spent in our regional communities which not only has an impact on our tourism but a major blow to our economy.
Remember one in three people in Tasmania enjoy dropping a line whether it be off a jetty,in a lake,an estuary or in the sea .This is a part of our lifestyle and hope to be available to not only to our children but there children’s children that’s why I say no SUPER TRAWLER.
Remember our fisheries, our choice, our future.
Martyn Evans Liberal Candidate for Lyons
Palmer United Party
We say no.
Party leader and Senator Elect: Lambie says “No” to Super Trawler. 
I want to assure the tens of thousands of Tasmanians (including many anglers and conservationists) who fought the Dutch owned Super Trawler’s application to fish in our waters – that I haven’t forgotten my promise to stand by and support you.
Before the last federal election I stood should to shoulder with the Anti-Super Trawler Protesters - and I will continue that fight after I take my seat in Federal parliament after 1st of July this year.
Unlike Liberal politicians, including senator Richard Colbeck, I understand that a fleet of super trawlers (including the one brought to Tasmania) was responsible for wiping out the pelagic baitfish fishery in Africa - and pose a significant danger to our environment and local fishing industry.
I am a pro-development, pro-business politician – but wiping out fisheries for short term financial gain, makes no economic or environmental sense - and must always be opposed.
Jacqui Lambie
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