Updated: September 19, 2012
Super trawler stopped, but sanctuaries still needed
Great news recently as important progress on two very significant issues was made concerning our precious marine environment.
Environment Minister Tony Burke introduced plans to stop the super trawler FV Abel Tasman (formerly Margiris) from fishing in Australian waters. As we write, the legislation has cleared the final hurdle of become law by attaining Senate approval.
This sets an important precedent for large capacity trawlers after the minister rightly conceded that the current laws do not go far enough to protect our marine environment from such large-scale operators.
The new laws will enable the Minister to stop the operation of boats like the super trawler while a comprehensive scientific assessment and public consultation is undertaken of all potential environmental and social impacts.
The threat of the super trawler has galvanised fishers and conservationists who believe that this type of operation would change the nature of fishing in Australia forever.
The Fisheries Minister has also announced a review of fisheries legislation, noting that it was introduced 20 years ago and needs to be updated to ensure that current fisheries management is based on best available science.
Thank you and congratulations to all our members and supporters who have signed the petition or come along to our actions to demonstrate the level of community concern about the super trawler.
People power always wins in the end!
In other good news, final negotiations are underway in South Australia to determine the zoning for Marine Sanctuary boundaries across the state's 19 Marine Parks. In 2007, years of work by the Wilderness Society and others led to the creation of the Marine Parks, but it's only with the establishment of sanctuary zones within these parks that meaningful conservation of South Australia's amazing marine life can become a reality.
The Wilderness Society has been involved in a variety of recent actions to raise awareness about threats to our marine environment, including seismic testing and possible drilling for oil in underwater canyons off western Kangaroo Island.
Another long-term threat to South Australian sea life is climate change. Importantly, the Marine Parks Act includes an objective focussed on adaptation to climate change specifically within the marine environment.
Marine Scientist Callum Roberts expresses great concern about the effects of climate change on our oceans, but he says "There is evidence marine ecosystems are capable of rapid recovery...if given the opportunity."
Robust Marine Sanctuaries are South Australia's chance to give its coastal marine environment such an opportunity, but this could be our last chance.
- Please join our action online and tell the SA Government why marine sanctuaries will be 'great for our state' .
- More information regarding the management plans and the public review process is available here. Alternatively, download and read our helpful to assist you in crafting a more detailed response. t
- Check out a map of the proposed zoning, and read individual management plans for each park.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Australia Inc