An Irish super trawler similar to vessels that have decimated fish stocks in the northern hemisphere will not be allowed to fish in Western Australian waters.
Fisheries Minister Kim Chance today announced that the State Government would not support licensing of the super trawler Veronica II in any WA fishery.
“This large, 106m pelagic (mid-water) trawl vessel can take up to 5,000 tonnes of fish at a time and process fish on board,” Mr Chance said.
“It is the type of vessel that has led to the decimation of fish stocks in northern hemisphere waters, and as a result we are now seeing them moving into the southern hemisphere.
“Its operation in WA waters would have caused havoc in our well managed commercial fisheries.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that it is not welcome in WA and we would resist any attempted move into our waters.
“It has simply too much fishing power to operate in any of WA’s inshore fisheries without placing sustainability at risk.”
Under WA fisheries legislation, the Veronica II cannot be licensed in either of the State managed fisheries that target small pelagic fish, because management plans for these fisheries place limits on the size of boats that can be used in each fishery.
In the South Coast Purse Seine Fishery, the boat limit is 20m and in the West Coast Purse Seine Fishery, it is 16m.
Mr Chance noted the Australian Government imposed a freeze on boat nominations in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery late last year.
“I assume this stance will remain in place along with the Commonwealth Minister’s previously stated commitment that the Veronica II would also not be licensed to fish in its waters,” he said.
The State Government’s position on the Veronica II follows similar positions adopted in New South Wales and South Australia, where the vessel faced fishing prohibitions.
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