Super-trawler off Australia stirs controversy

Campaigners say LV Margiris, one of the world's largest fishing vessels, is too big and harms the environment.

    Environmental campaigners have attempted to stop one of the world's largest trawlers reaching Port Lincoln in South Australia.

    The Greenpeace campaign group has launched an online petition to stop the Dutch registered FV Margiris from being allowed to trawl for fish off southern Australia, saying the vessel is too big and will cause damage to the environment.

    A Greenpeace video showed a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) attempting on Thursday to tie up alongside the 143 metre-long trawler before a pilot launch pushed it out of the way.

    At nearly 9,500 tonnes, the group says the Margiris will be the largest vessel ever to fish in Australian waters and says it can catch and process 275 tonnes of fish per day.

    The operators of the vessel, Seafish Tasmania, say its size allows it to process and freeze its catch storing it on board for weeks at a time.

    It also says so-called bycatch is minimal. Greenpeace says dolphins, seals and sharks will also be caught in its net.

    The FV Margiris is scheduled to carry out fishing trips of six to eight weeks duration in deep waters south of Australia.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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