Greens Leader Christine Milne wrote to the Prime Minister after discussing the arrival of the super trawler Margiris in Australian waters.
15 August 2012
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Canberra ACT 2600
Dear Prime Minister
Further to our discussion last night about the dangers posed by the supertrawler Margiris operating in Australia's waters, I'd like to reiterate the need for the Commonwealth to act further to protect local fish stocks.
The Greens do not believe this supertrawler should be permitted to operate in Australian waters as the evidence indicates it's a subsidised vessel and there are real issues with quotas being exceeded, death of bycatch species, localised depletion and impact on other fisheries.
The Commonwealth should put in place management plans to prevent localised depletion of stocks.
In the course of my research on this issue, I have discovered that the vessel which had monitored fisheries in Tasmania, the Aquaculture Fisheries Institute's Challenger, has been sold which makes it difficult for independent researchers to monitor the impact of the trawler on local fisheries.
I know propose that not only does the government refuse to permit the trawler to operate in Australian waters but that regional development funds be made available to support the construction of a Tasmanian-made purpose-built vessel to monitor and research existing fisheries and for scientific research including marine protected areas.
Senator Christine Milne
Australian Greens leader