The Tasmanian Greens have called for the Hodgman government to close all state ports to the factory freezer supertrawler, the Geelong Star, in light of its unacceptable risks to local marine life and Tasmania’s Brand.
“Although the Commonwealth has authority over Australian waters, Tasmania is not completely powerless as we have direct responsibility for all state port facilities,” Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“In light of the shocking news that on its first fishing trip in national waters, the Geelong Star’s operations have already killed four dolphins and two seals, the State needs to take a proactive stance on protecting our marine environment and the reputation of our fisheries.”
“The State can, and should, close all Tasmanian ports to the Geelong Star for any refuelling, mooring or any other operational purposes. Clearly this ban would not apply for any human health and safety considerations as recognised under the Law of the Sea.”
“As it is, this factory freezer plundering the small pelagic fishery presents no economic benefit to our local economy, but will hit us with the impacts upon the integrity of our marine environment and threatened species, as well as potential damage to the brand of our local fisheries.”
“We can all recall the consumer-power when the markets walked away from any tuna product associated with dolphin kills, and Tasmania cannot look like it condones these recent avoidable deaths.”
“The Premier must stand up for our healthy seas, and the state’s reputation, and send a clear message to supertrawler operators such as the Geelong Star that our ports are closed,” Mr Booth said.