Don’t let the Super Trawler side-step its ban

The massive Super Trawler FV Abel Tasman is back and could soon be operating by stealth in Australian waters unless we act before this Monday. It proposes to get around its current fishing ban by acting as a mother ship and giant floating fish freezer to a fleet of smaller trawlers. The combined catch of these trawlers would then just continually feed the Super Trawler until its huge freezer was full.

Despite a 2 year ban on the Super Trawler, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority is today actively considering this proposal.

Please send the below email to keep this monster trawler out of our waters.

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To the Environment Minister, Fisheries Minister and Australian Fisheries Management Authority,

Thank you for banning the Super Trawler from fishing for 2 years, however I write to make the following comments on the proposal for transshipment of fish at sea by the FV Abel Tasman in the Small Pelagic Fishery.

The new transshipping proposal does nothing at all to reduce the impacts that this super trawler is likely to have on our marine environment. In particular I am concerned that:

- This proposal still places critically endangered bluefin tuna under greater threat from loss of their food source, and it still threatens the death of seals, dolphins and seabirds through bycatch.

- There is still no strategy that adequately deals with the potential for localised depletion or widespread stock depletion that this intensive fishing activity could result in.

- Stock assessments are based on increasingly old data and there is no requirement for updating this data to ensure quotas are precautionary and will not result in localised overfishing.

- The expert panel which is meant to review the impacts of a super trawler in the Small Pelagic Fishery has not even been formed, let alone begun it’s work, so this proposal would be pre-empting this official review.

- The transshipment proposal involves transferring fish from smaller vessels to a ‘mothership’ for processing – this act constitutes ‘fishing’ under the fisheries management legislation and is therefore banned for two years.

Please reject this proposal and maintain the existing ban on the Super Trawler fishing in Australia's waters.

Yours sincerely,


Smaller boats, same giant impact!

The proposal for transhipment raises the same concerns as the original super trawler proposal:

1. High risks to dolphins and seals being caught and killed as by-catch;

2. Concentrated fishing on this scale could locally deplete marine life;

3. Old data supporting questionable science with no commitment to ongoing research;

4. Full time independent monitoring of by-catch is unlikely.

Find out more about the proposal for transshipment on the Australian Fisheries Management Authority web site.