The Margiris super trawler has docked in South Australia amid Greenpeace protests. (Photo: Greenpeace)
Greenpeace activists fail to keep super trawler away
Friday, August 31, 2012, 01:30 (GMT + 9)
The Margiris super trawler finally reached South Australia despite efforts from Greenpeace activists who tried to board the vessel as it approached land.
Greenpeace filmed and released a video showing the activists at work in a rubber dinghy pulling alongside the huge vessel, but activists say the trawler's crew cut their ropes and left them unable to board.
It is expected that the Margiris will remain tied up in Port Lincoln for five days for re-flagging, repairs and Customs checks behind a permanent security fence on the main wharf, ABC News reports.
Greenpeace Spokesperson Julie Macken said the group's actions are part of measures being taken by “a really large national coalition of groups and communities.”
The green group wants the government to refuse to grant a fishing license to the super trawler and to introduce a policy to ban such vessels from Australian ports, The Australian reports.
"I think the alarm about this ship is sufficient that people are taking whatever action they can to let the government know this is not OK," Ms Macken stated.
Opponents of the Margiris fear it will decimate regional fish stocks.
Environment Minister Tony Burke has voiced concerns about the amount of bycatch the trawler would trap in its nets.
In contrast, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) insists that the trawler's quota is based on sound science.
"Wherever this ship goes we have seen fish stocks absolutely collapse," Macken refuted.
The Australian Government has not yet given final approval for the super trawler to take 18,000 tonnes of baitfish from the nation’s southern fisheries.
South Australian Greens leader Mark Parnell thinks the vessel’s arrival will galvanize locals.
"I think it will be a wake-up call when people see the size of this ship - the idea of sucking so much life out of the sea in a single go should fill people with dread," he stated.
A federal Labor backbencher said she will introduce a private members bill to try to stop super trawlers from fishing in the country’s waters.
A Member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, expressed her very serious concerns about the impact the Margiris and other vessels like it cause. She called such vessels the "Godzillas of the fishing world in the form of super trawlers."
- Super trawler’s controversial arrival in Australian waters
By Natalia Real