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Ban Super Trawlers Permanently in Australia

This petition had 1,506 supporters

Currently, around 85% of global fish stocks are over-exploited and in Australia, 13.5% of fish stocks are overfished and the status of 28% is unknown. There is a need to move towards smaller-scale sustainable fishing methods, NOT industrial monster sized boats.  Leading scientists forecast the collapse of all fish species in less than 50 years if we continue to overfish. 

SIGN THE PETITION TO STOP OVERFISHING AND CATEGORICALLY BAN SUPER TRAWLERS IN AUSTRALIA. Super Trawling is a destructive fishing method that harms our delicate marine ecosystems. They can be more than 144 metres long, meaning that the biggest super trawlers can have nets that are big enough to hold 13 jumbo jets.  Overfishing by large and destructive fishing fleets is the main reason why the world’s oceans and fish stocks are currently in such an alarming state.

In 2012, the government introduced a two-year ban on super trawlers in Australia after realising the danger of the Margiris operating in our waters which is 142m long  super trawler that can operate for 24 hours a day and can process 240 tonnes of fish during that time.  However, the ban has now expired and Australian oceans are in danger again. The Australian Federal Government needs to know that this ban is still needed. 

Another controversial case has been the Geelong Star where the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has been accused of covering up details after a shark was caught in the netting.  This raises the question if fisheries are putting corporate interests ahead of the wellbeing of our marine species and biodiversity.

Overfishing threatens global fish stocks, local economies and marine biodiversity. In particular, super trawlers in Australia need to be banned as: 

  • They produce a dangerous amount of by-catch and are impossible to regulate: along with tonnes of fish, dolphins, seals, sharks, turtles, sea birds and other species of great importance are all at risk. 
  • It disrupts our fragile ecosystems and threatens our marine biodiversity: Fish are a vital link in the food chain and is the main daily source of protein for 1.2 billion people worldwide. 
  • Super trawlers can drag their nets through the water for several hours, therefore if marine creature becomes stuck,  it's highly unlikely that they'll be able to escape. These animals will then either drown — or be crushed to death by the sheer weight of the fish around them.
  • Large scale, industrial fishing boats significantly diminishes small-scale fisherman’s catch.  Globally, small-scale fisheries employ about 90% of those involved in fisheries. Most of them use low impact gear and are essential to move away from destructive fishing towards sustainable fishing. 
  • Legal and illegally subsidised super trawlers have devastated West Africa's fish population to feed Europe's demand for seafood.  These foreign-owned super trawler companies also make money by selling fish back to the local fisherman who can no longer fend for themselves. 

With the Geelong Star still operating and potential for even more super trawlers to operate in Australian waters, we need to take action. 

Support the campaign   You Can't Find Nemo, If Nothing is Swimming by visiting our Facebook and Twitter. 

 *This Petition is part of the 'You Can't Find Nemo, If Nothing is Swimming' Campaign by Angela Kwan.

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