Target: Federal Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig
Goal: Keep the world’s second-largest fishing trawler out of Australian waters and protect the local fishing economy as well as nearby marine life.
A 465-foot-long super trawler known as the FV Margiris is currently en route to Devonport, a city located along the coast of Tasmania, Australia, and is set to arrive within the month of August 2012 . The company responsible for the vessel, Seafish Tasmania, has not yet applied for the right to fish in Australian waters but once granted a permit, the Margiris is expected to trawl 18,000 tons of redbait and jack mackerel, two types of small pelagic fish. The effect this super trawler will have on this marine ecosystem is severe. Demand that authorities do not allow the FV Margiris super trawler to fish in Australian waters in order to ensure that environmental damages do not occur.
The Margiris and other super trawlers have made their mark on other areas of our Earth’s oceans, leaving fisheries and communities with damaged fish stocks and a loss of jobs. In the South Pacific, a jack mackerel fishery was collapsed by super trawlers, including the Margiris, after diminishing fish populations by 90 percent. Senegal, West Africa was another victim of super trawlers. Due to extreme exploitation of the trawler’s target fish species, Senegal took action and prohibited all giant fishing vessels from its waters.
Not only does the trawler have a terrible record with exploiting fisheries and overfishing, it disturbs the food chain and results in the by-catch of many different important marine animals. The two species set to be targeted in Australian waters, jack mackerel and redbait, are a key food source for larger fish and sea animals such as dolphins, sharks and bluefin tuna. Disrupting this cycle could mean the loss of these animals as well as the intended target species. These large fish not only face a food supply shortage, but run the risk of getting caught in the giant trawler nets, only to end up trapped, drowned or fished and thrown back dead into the ocean.
The effects the FV Margiris will have on Australia’s sea life and local fishing economy is unnecessary, and will only leave fish populations plundered. Urge the Australian government to take a stand against such unsustainable fishing practices and forbid this vessel from obtaining the right to fish off the coast of Tasmania.
Dear Federal Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig,
The imminent arrival of the super trawler, the FV Margiris, will put the Australian waters it is intended to fish in in severe danger. The effects giant vessels like these have on the marine ecosystem are numerous and not worth this risk. The target species of the Margiris this time are redbait and jack mackerel fish. These fish are a vital food source to larger fish like seals, dolphins, and sharks, so taking large amounts of small pelagic fish out of the food chain will have a devastating effect further up the line. By-catch is also an issue since this fishing technique uses a vacuum-like system and massive nets, resulting in the unintended catch of the large sea animals previously mentioned.
Not only will marine life be disrupted, but so will the local fishery and the people living off more sustainable fishing practices. The Margiris and other trawlers similar to it have bad records of exploiting fisheries while overfishing certain populations. It is important that this super trawler not be allowed to fish in Australian waters in order to prevent terrible environmental damages. Please ban the Margiris from obtaining rights to fish off the coast of Tasmania, Australia.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: hayley green via geograph