The Straits Times
Published on Sep 11, 2012

Australia acts to stop super-trawler from fishing in its waters


SYDNEY (AFP) - The Australian government on Tuesday announced plans to change its environmental protection laws to prevent a controversial super-trawler from fishing in its waters.

The 9,500-tonne FV Margiris, recently reflagged as the Abel Tasman, is currently docked at Port Lincoln in South Australia, but under the new laws would not be able to fish until new scientific research had been carried out.

Environment Minister Tony Burke earlier sought legal advice about whether he could intervene over concerns that dolphins, seals, seabirds and other marine life would inadvertently get swept up in the ship's huge nets.

But he was limited by the current legislation, prompting new laws to be introduced to parliament later on Tuesday that, if passed, would extend his powers.