The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) has called on the Government to honour its commitments to all Australians in relation to the Super Trawler issue. The call comes in response to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) asking for comment on an application for the Super Trawler the FV Abel Tasman to process fish from the small pelagic fishery.
Recreational fishing is a fundamental component of our Australian way of life.
ARFF Managing Director Allan Hansard said 'This appears to be a backdoor way for Seafish Tasmania to get the Super Trawler access to our waters. We understand that under the application, the FV Abel Tasman will act as a processing and freezing vessel to be fed by smaller trawlers that will do the fishing.
'However, under the definitions in the Fisheries Management Act and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act, fishing means ‘the processing, carrying or transhipping of fish that have been taken’. As such, this application should be covered by the same legislation that has banned the super trawler from fishing for two years.
'We call on Minister Burke to do what he said he would do and immediately form the Review
Committee to assess the fishing activities of the Super Trawler.
'The ARFF position on fishing activities in the SPF has not changed.
'We want to see the Review Committee commission the science required to comprehensively determine the stock and movement of all small pelagic fish across the SPF before there is any decision made on how the fishery should be fished or processed. Particularly when the proposed fishing methods fall outside the realm of existing science in relation to potential impact.
This is not good enough and the Government should act now to address this issue.'
The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) is the newly formed national peak body representing Australia’s Recreational Fishing Community and is supported by the Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), Recfish Australia, Game Fishing Association Australia (GFAA), Sunfish Queensland, Recfishwest, Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFANSW), Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association (USFA), Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA), Professional Fishing Instructors and Gui des Association (PFIGA), Victorian Recreational Fishing Peak Body Peak Body (VRFish), Australian Underwater Federation (AUF), Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing Inc (TARFish) and Keep Australia Fishing (KAF).