The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has expressed dismay and sadness at reports that on only its second fishing trip in Australia, the factory freezer trawler the Geelong Star has killed four more dolphins and two more fur seals.
‘This number of deaths is simply unacceptable to the Australian public. If this freezer factory trawler can’t fish without killing protected marine wildlife, it shouldn’t be fishing at all,’ the AMCS said in a statement.
‘The Australian government has a duty of responsibility to ensure fishing does not occur at the expense of our protected marine mammals.
‘Dolphin and fur seal deaths should not be a normal part of fishing activity. It is just not acceptable and it should not be allowed to continue.
‘What more evidence is needed before these factory freezer trawlers are banned in Australia?’
The online Tasmanian newspaper The Advocate theadvocate.com.au reported that the trawler ‘will be required to implement additional marine safety measures after it notified the fisheries regulator of six mammal fatalities.
‘Small Pelagic Fishery Industry Association chairman Grahame Turk said the death of marine mammals was regrettable.
‘He said the vessel would comply with all AFMA directives to avoid further fatalities.
‘”Marine mammal interactions regrettably sometimes occur in mid-water trawl operations in Australian waters,” he said.’