Greenpeace sabotages supertrawler bound for Australia

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Controversial FV Margiris delayed in Dutch port thanks to Greenpeace activists.

Greenpeace sabotages supertrawler bound for Australia
Greenpeace sabotages supertrawler bound for Australia

Greenpeace activists have stopped the controversial FV Margiris supertrawler from leaving its berth in the Dutch port of Ijmuiden, en route to Tasmania.

In a statement issued by Greenpeace on Thursday, the organisation said divers
put a chain around the ship’s propeller, while two climbers were suspended from a cable between the ship and the dock to halt its departure for Australia.

The FV Margiris is bound for Australia under a partnership between Seafish Tasmania and Dutch fishing giant Parlevliet en Van der Plas, and if approved could begin fishing Australian waters as early as August, according to Greenpeace.

In a statement issued by Greenpeace’s oceans campaigner Nathaniel Pelle, the 142m, 9500-tonne supertrawler had previously been accused of overfishing off West Africa, notably reducing fish stocks. "Wherever this ship has gone it has destroyed fish stocks and ruined fishermen’s livelihoods," Pelle said.

At the recent UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20, Australia reaffirmed its commitment to honour the UN Responsible Fisheries Code of Conduct,
and reduce fishing overcapacity. Greenpeace said allowing the FV Margiris to operate in Tasmanian waters made a mockery of that commitment, as well as the recent expansion of Australian marine reserves which now form the world’s largest network of marine parks.

Despite the Prime Minister’s assertions that no formal application had been made to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), the body has dismissed overfishing concerns, asserting that standard catch limits would be in place and the requirement to have an observer onboard would be considered.

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