Super trawler threatens coastal communities from Perth to Brisbane

Press release - 6 August, 2012

Call for super trawlers to be banned across Australia

SYDNEY, 6 August 2012: As the Magiris super trawler steams toward Australian waters, Greenpeace has today escalated the issue, calling on the Gillard Government to ban all super trawlers from Australian waters.
“This is an opportunity for the Gillard Government to say, once and for all, we don’t want this kind of fishing in our waters”, said Greenpeace campaigner Nathanielle Pelle
“The Margiris is not a fishing boat, it’s a massive floating factory equipped with an industrial ocean hoover.”
“It has already plundered fisheries in Europe, the Pacific and West Africa and now it is headed for Australia.”[1]
Greenpeace is campaigning against super trawlers worldwide and has documented the devastation left in their wake[2][3].
“Allowing the Margiris in our waters is an open invitation to the entire global fleet of oversized, industrial ships,” said Nathanielle Pelle. “Australia should learn the lessons from the devastation super trawlers have wrought on marine life and fishing communities around the world and say no to the Margiris.”
The Dutch-owned Margiris is twice the size of any vessel to have ever legally fished in Australian waters. If the trip goes ahead, waters anywhere from Perth along the Great Australian Bight and up to South-east Queensland could be under threat from the Margiris.[4]
“The Margiris can catch and process the equivalent weight of twenty school buses in fish per day,” said Mr Pelle. [5]
“The Margiris could wipe out local fish stocks and devastate coastal communities”.
“If the little fish go, so do the big fish. So do the dolphins and seals and seabirds.  And so do the fishermen,” said Pelle.[6]
Greenpeace is part of the ‘Stop the Super Trawler’ coalition of concerned fishing and environmental groups.
Online petition calling on the Gillard Government to ban all super trawlers:
For more information, contact
: Elsa Evers 0438 204 041
[1] The Margiris is part of the grossly over-subsidised European super trawler fleet well-known around the world for destroying fisheries. The European super trawler fleet first fished out European waters. It then fished the South Pacific jack mackerel fishery to collapse. Super trawlers then moved to West Africa and plundered local fish stocks, leaving local fishermen without jobs. 52,000 Senegalese fishermen threatened direct action against the super trawlers and the president of Senegal expelled all foreign trawlers in May 2012.
[2] Greenpeace activists blocked the Margiris for six days from leaving port for Australia in June.
[3] Greenpeace documented the devastation of West African fisheries by super trawlers in its report ‘How Africa is Feeding Europe’. Greenpeace took action on the Margiris and other trawlers in West Africa in March.
[4] A map of the Pelagic Fishery is available on the AFMA website at:
[5] The Margiris can catch and process up to 250 tonnes of fish per day. The average school bus weighs between 11 and 12 tonnes.
[6] The Margiris will target Redbait, blue mackerel and red mackerel, which are important species in the food chain. They are food for a wide range of animals including the bottlenose dolphin, fur seals and larger fish such as southern bluefin tuna and sharks.