Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Super Trawlers, The Juggernauts of the Oceans: Environmental, Economic and Political Devastation

by Dr Susan Lawler, Head of Department, Department of Environmental Management and Ecology at La Trobe University, The Conversation: http://theconversation.edu.au

Protesters out on the weekend to stop the “super” trawler’s arrival (AAP)
Protests on the weekend in Hobart against the Dutch owned super trawler, the FV Margiris, have led to the Australian environment minister, Tony Burke, expressing some concerns. Greenpeace’s petition against the super trawler is clearly having an impact.

The super trawlers are boats that should never have been built. They are anti-sustainable in design and devastating in their implementation. This particular boat recently caused the collapse of fish stocks in West Africa such that Senegal has recently banned all super trawlers.

Ironically, the European owned boat processed these fish and sold them back to African markets, thereby raping not only the environment, but the economy, of their host nation.

But why such concern about a single boat? It would take 56 traditional African fishing boats a year to harvest the number of fish this boat can remove from the seas in a single day. A small crew of 40 people will get just one days wages for this fishing effort, as compared to the hundreds of local fishers who would have received wages for a whole year.

In Australia, the quota of fish allocated to this super trawler is half of the entire allowable catch in the area. This is economically unsustainable.

The by-catch, or random killing of non-target species, is much higher in the automated fishing operation of a super trawler than in any other type of fishing.

Dolphins and seals are killed directly, and the removal of vast quantities of red bait and mackerel impacts the ecosystems where these boats fish by destroying the food chain that supports tuna, sharks, seabirds and mammals. This is environmentally unsustainable.

To read further, go to: http://theconversation.edu.au/super-trawlers-the-juggernauts-of-the-oceans-environmental-economic-and-political-devastation-8812?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+14+August+2012&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+14+August+2012+CID_b6839e5c9d7927683740caceb26379b4&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Super+trawlers+the+juggernauts+of+the+oceans+--+environmental+economic+and+political+devastation

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