In a huge victory against the plunder of our oceans, the Australian Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has announced new laws that will ban the Margiris super trawler, now known as the Abel Tasman, from operating in Australian waters for up to two years.
Congratulations must go to the thousands of passionate Australians, community and environmental organisations and fishing groups who have stopped the Margiris from destroying Australia‘s oceans.
Burke’s announcement means the super trawler will be banned for up to two years. Further scientific investigations will also be needed before ships like this can be approved.
This is what Greenpeace Australia was calling for and they congratulate the Australian government on listening to the community and taking action.
People come together, good things happen
Minister Burke acknowledged the opposition to the super trawler when making his announcement, commenting: “There has been no doubt there has been a massive public focus on this.”
It was the united action of community members, environmentalists and fishing groups that convinced the government to protect Australia’s fish stocks, marine wildlife and fishing communities.
This victory is testimony to the power of collective will and the importance of standing up for what’s right.
Because of the donations received from Greenpeace supporters, they were able to:
- Highlight the dangerous flaws in the approval process and the threat to Australia’s fishing communities, fish stocks and marine ecosystems.
- Track the route of the Margiris, raise awareness of its pending arrival and take direct action as it hit Australian waters.
- Publicise the super trawler’s destructive history and present the investigative research Greenpeace had conducted across the globe over many years.
- Reveal the European Union subsidies that keep these over-sized vessels in operation.
- Heighten awareness in threatened regional coastal towns with media advertisements.
- Unite with a unique coalition of groups to mobilise diverse communities, hold rallies and pressure the government.
This is a significant setback for the European super trawler fleet, but the campaign against destructive fishing needs to continue.
The Margiris is just one fishing vessel that is impacting marine ecosystems globally. The global fishing fleet is catching more fish than nature can sustain. In our region, the Pacific faces the threat of over-sized foreign vessels every day.
Greenpeace will continue its global campaign against overfishing and destructive fishing practices, but for today at least, we can celebrate this wonderful victory.
By Aaron Gray-Block.