9.3 C
Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

Govt accused of cover-up over super trawler incident

Latest News

Mrs Elliot

It’s very unfortunate that Justine Elliot has so little confidence in herself or her party that she needs to...

Other News

Dirty laundry

Beacon Laundry’s half-page ad (Echo, July 3) trumpets the promise of ‘clean karma’. This is the same business, a multimillion-dollar...

A self-hating Jew

A self-hating Jew means ‘antisemite’. David Heilpern’s 3 July article was underpinned with lies, and hateful sentiments toward one...

We need to reinvent urban spaces to live in harmony with the planet 

Travel is about visiting someplace exotic, we’re told. Somewhere that looks, feels and tastes different, in a way that stirs our heart and stimulates our senses. But sit in the central business district of any global city today, and chances are it will look basically the same.

Healthy lifestyle program for Lismore and Tweed families

The Northern NSW Local Health District says that families can access support to build healthy habits together, including tips and assistance for getting active, healthy eating and overall wellbeing.

Dolphins return home as champs

The U12 Far North Coast Rugby Union Dolphins have returned home as country champions, having competed in the state...

Power from the barrel of a gun

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's immediate reaction to the assassination attempt on US presidential candidate Donald Trump was that there was 'no place for violence in the democratic process', but this is the latest in a very long line of incidents which prove otherwise.

This image, provided by the Stop the Trawler Alliance, allegedly shows a protected whale shark being pulled aboard the super trawler Geelong Star. Photo contributed
This image, provided by the Stop the Trawler Alliance, allegedly shows a protected whale shark being pulled aboard the super trawler Geelong Star. Photo contributed

The Stop the Trawler Alliance have received troubling images from an informant who claims to be a crew member of the Geelong Star, who for the first time is leaking to the public images of a protected whale shark at the centre of a freedom of information battle with the government.

The images show a shark hanging from its tail and slumped on the back deck of the vessel. Stop the Trawler Coordinator, Rebecca Hubbard, says the leaked images dramatically increase the pressure on the government to release footage of the Geelong Star’s treatment of the protected animal, which has created uproar ever since government, industry and crew made conflicting claims about the whale shark’s survival in February.

‘It’s time for the government to come clean and release the footage of the whale shark incident’ Ms Hubbard said. ‘The public wants the truth; releasing the actual evidence is the only way the Government can put this controversy to bed and restore public confidence in management of our fisheries.’

‘This type of leak – showing a possibly dead whale shark strung up by its tail – reignites concerns that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority haven’t revealed the whole truth about the monster trawler’s treatment of protected species. There is no way the government can in all honesty now repeat that it isn’t in the public interest to release video footage of what actually happened,’ Ms Hubbard said.

The same animal allegedly hanging above the deck of the Geelong Star. Photo contributed
The same animal allegedly hanging above the deck of the Geelong Star. Photo contributed

Nobby Clark, of Game Fish Tasmania, said ‘recreational fishers are sick to death of government refusing to release the evidence of the super trawler’s fishing practices. ‘

‘If they have nothing to hide, if they haven’t breached their shark handling protocol, then why the hell are they so scared to release the footage and why are we reliant on leaked, blurry images to get to the truth’ Mr Clark said.

The Stop the Trawler Alliance, together with Environment Tasmania, is in the midst of a freedom of information request and currently challenging the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s assessment that the release of the footage of the whale shark incident is not in the public interest.

‘These images reveal just how much damage the Geelong Star might be doing to our large protected sharks and mammals, and redouble our concern with the Liberal Government’s support for the monster trawler Geelong Star’s operations,’ Ms Hubbard.

‘The story of the trawling of a highly protected whale shark has been the focus of public debate and dispute ever since it occurred off the NSW south coast over four months ago. The industry, crew-member and AFMA reports all contrast, and clearly the simplest and quickest way to clear up what happened is to release the footage of the incident. But the government continues to suggest that releasing the truth is somehow not in the public interest.’

‘The only evidence that the Australian public will trust is if AFMA release the full, unedited footage of the Geelong Star’s whale shark incident. And the Liberal National Coalition must answer to why it continues to support the operations of this super trawler when it is so clearly mired in controversy and threatens recreational fishing, our marine life and local industries,’ concluded Ms Hubbard.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tikkun Olam

David Heilpern's brilliant article 'Zionism, antisemitism and Israel' stands in complete contrast to former Israeli defence minister Moshe Dayan's recommendation that, 'Israel must be...

Six slips sites, $5m and 42 weeks sees Bilambil – Urliup Road open

The 2022 floods saw the Tweed hinterland connection road between Bilambil and Urliup severely damaged with six slip sites. After more than two years...

Developer may destroy up to 1.5 million indigenous artefacts in Lismore

Land and Environment Court accepts Uncle Mickey Ryan as party to the case after Lismore Council fails to defend Aboriginal cultural heritage of North Lismore Plateau.

Tyagarah – changed overnight traffic conditions

From Monday, July 22 there will be changed traffic conditions on Tyagarah Creek Bridge on the Pacific Highway at Tyagarah to carry out essential maintenance.