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Home » Headline (Archive) » 3 September 2012

Australia: Govt sets tough rules for ‘super-trawler’ 3 Sep 2012

Environment Minister Tony Burke has announced tough new conditions on a super-trawler docked in Australian waters.

The controversial super-trawler Margiris will be required to have an observer on board and to record its activities via an underwater camera under the new measures the minister announced on Monday night on ABC television's Q&A program.

The operators of the vessel must ensure that listed threatened species, migratory species, cetaceans and marine species are not killed or injured as a result of trawling operations, Mr Burke said.

"The big vessel will have to fish within the rules so that the impact it has on the environment is no more than if it was fishing on a small vessel," he said.

Mr Burke said while he didn't have the power to stop the super-trawler under environmental laws, he was able to impose restrictions on its activities based on the impact it could have on listed species such as seals and dolphins.

"My role as environment minister is to ensure that fisheries are managed in a way that protects Australia's biodiversity, particularly as they relate to specific listed species," he said.

Under the measures, if dolphins are killed by its nets, the trawler will have to stop fishing and travel 50 nautical miles (93km) before it restarts fishing activities.

The same applies if three or more seals die.

The vessel will also not be able to fish in sea lion hunting grounds.

The conditions are being imposed for an initial two-week period to give the company that owns the super-trawler an opportunity to comment on the conditions.

The minister says he will use his powers to amend accreditation of the trawler's fishery so that the company would be prosecuted if it doesn't adhere to the new conditions.

Mr Burke will consider comments received before applying conditions in the longer term.

Source: //
Actual link: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/national/super-trawler-to-call-brisbane-home/sto

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