Australia imposes two-year ban on supertrawlers
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia banned supertrawlers fishing in its southern waters for two years on Monday, saying there was uncertainty about the impact of such large vessels on species such as dolphins and seals.
Environment Minister Tony Burke in September blocked the 9,500-tonne, 143-metre Abel Tasman from operating for 60 days until more scientific research was completed.
The Dutch-owned vessel, previously known as the Margiris, planned to trawl off Tasmania, but environmental campaign group Greenpeace voiced fears its haul could include threatened species in its by-catch and deplete fish stocks.
On Monday, Mr Burke extended the ban - which covers the Small Pelagic Fishery running along the country's southern coast from near Perth in the west almost to the Queensland border in the east - for the maximum 24 months allowed.