Anti-fishing campaign condemned

June 6, 2014

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, condemned the Greens and ENGOs for running a cheap and nasty fear campaign about the Meridian-1 coming to Tasmania to fish for Blue Grenadier.

Petuna Sealord Deepwater Fishing (PSDF) has been fishing in this fishery using the same methods and similar vessels for 17 years.

"Over that time they have used four different freezer vessels to fish for Blue Grenadier that is sold into the Australian market," Senator Colbeck said.
"The Meridian-1 has also been fishing in New Zealand's MSC certified Hoki fishery for 20 years without incident (Hoki is the NZ name for Blue Grenadier)."

Senator Colbeck said the attempted scare campaign exposed fringe environmental organisations as little more than anti-industry activists.

"Australia's Blue Grenadier fishery is sustainable and well managed. The condition of the spawning stock is so good that quotas in the fishery were increased this year," he said.

"The Blue Grenadier stock currently stands at 94% of estimated unfished spawning biomass."

Senator Colbeck said the Meridian-1 would also provide safety while fishing in some of the most hostile marine conditions in the world.

"The Blue Grenadier fishery operates for 49 days over July and August off the West Coast of Tasmania which experiences some of the most hostile marine conditions in the world," he said.

"Waves of more than eight metres have been recorded by the BOM wave buoy in the region during the last week."

060614 Anti fishing campaign condemned
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