We will decide who comes to fish here, and the circumstances under which they fish
August 12, 2012 1:29 AM   Subscribe

A new, controversial super-trawler, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has set sail for Tasmania, off the south-east coast of Australia, to take a haul of jack mackerel and redbait, prompting concerns it is going to decimate several Australian fish stocks as factory fishing has done elsewhere in the world. Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for "some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet.'' It is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia this spring.

The 9,600-tonne vessel is more than twice the size of the previous largest ship licensed to fish in Commonwealth waters, the 4,400t Ivan Golubets, which briefly fished in deep southern waters in 1992.

It was delayed by Greenpeace by up to a week in Dutch port of Ijmuiden, Senegal, but is now steaming to Australia to be re-flagged.

JV partner Seafish Tasmania says the 18,000 tonne quota is sustainable is based on egg surveys that show fish stocks can withstand a larger haul, however Tasmanian Greens have obtained several documents under freedom of information laws, relating to the Government's decision to expand the Jack Mackerel East total allowable catch from 4,500-t to more than 10,000-tonnes in June.
It says the quota is just 5% of the total Australian fishery for small pelagic fish.

Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie claims the quota for the trawler is unlawful and invalid as Seafish Tasmania's Gerry Geen was at an Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) meeting finalising the quota for the super trawler and that many questions need answers before the ship is approved for operations in Australian waters.

Opponents (such as the Australian Conservation Foundation) claim that such large-scale catches will drastically affect local fisheries based on larger fish that depend on the small pelagics. They claim that surface schools of jack mackerel that were once common off south-east Tasmania have not returned after the collapse of that fishery over 20 years ago, and that "tonnes of by-catch – unwanted marine life like dolphins, seals and seabirds" will be thrown back dead.

Conservationists, recreational, smaller professional fishers and tourist operators recently formed a flotilla of some 500 vessels and are prepared to deliver petition with more than 33,000 signatures to the Prime Minister to stop the ship's certification.

Australia's Environment Minister Tony Burke has weighed into the debate, concerned that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) usually focuses on number of fish caught, not the size of the ship, and is concerned there is a risk of over-fishing within a localised area.

It will also be difficult to police the quota, as seen by New Zealand recently. It allowed a Korean super trawler in a joint venture with a local New Zealand operator under strict conditions, only to find a fleet of vessels chartered from Korea busted the quota. The captain fled NZ and has been convicted in absentia.
NZ has been concerned by foreign-flagged operations recently and is to end the practice following the 2010 sinking of Korean fishing boat the Oyang 70 which cost six sailors (possibly underpaid Indonesian national "slave fishers") their lives (More). NZ is planning to make some changes,
Furthermore, fishing practices mean that the world's smallest and most endangered dolphin 'will die out' unless radical changes are made. It would be the first time in history a cetacean would have been wiped out by human activity. A new documentary, The Price Of Fish, is looking at the alleged plundering of NZ fish stocks.

Southern Bluefin Tuna Association CEO Brian Jeffriess says the trawler could set up opportunities such as providing feed for tuna farming. Others say it will be good for job creation. Others say factory ships are exactly what the world should expect.

Pacific Tuna stocks are also in decline.

The European-flagged ship also raises wider concerns about over-fishing and industrial-scale exploitation. With the collapse of European fisheries, processors have moved into Africa and the South Pacific. Greenpeace claims that over-fishing by super-trawlers means almost all the species targeted by foreign trawlers are now fully exploited or overexploited, and the super-trawlers need to find new fisheries.

Greenpeace argues that the super-trawlers would be uneconomic without subsidies from European taxpayers (PDF).

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TL;DR?
There is a comprehensive podcast on the ABC's Background Briefing.
posted by Mezentian (55 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
fwiw.....FV Magiris at fleetmon.com.

pretty dorky looking ship
posted by lampshade at 1:57 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, this is looking to be a big deal here in Tasmania. It's a rare issue that both environmentalists, and "every day" blokes who go fishing are up in arms about. "STOP THE SUPERTRAWLER" bumper stickers have popped up everywhere in the last couple of weeks.

But I, personally, have a fairly casual understanding of the realities involved, so thanks for the great post!
posted by Jimbob at 1:58 AM on August 12, 2012


OMG! fleetmon.com is the greatest thing in the last little while.

I hadn't been paying much attention to the issue until BB this morning. Once I started looking into it it seemed to be quite scary, potentially.
posted by Mezentian at 2:06 AM on August 12, 2012


This supertrawler has disaster stamped all over it.
posted by gomichild at 2:11 AM on August 12, 2012


Thanks for the link to the story about 'slave fishers'...
posted by infini at 2:48 AM on August 12, 2012


another fwiw....ships like this are direct decedents (in terms of their overall intent and purpose) of the whaling ships that decimated the whale population in the 1800s and 1900s and even up into this century, albeit to a lesser degree.

So there is good reason to fear for the mackerel population.
posted by lampshade at 3:17 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


It was delayed by Greenpeace by up to a week in Dutch port of Ijmuiden, Senegal, but is now steaming to Australia to be re-flagged.

The linked Greenpeace press release refers to the Maartje Theadora rather than the Margiris, and IJmuiden is in the Netherlands rather than Senegal. (The Maartje Theadora is currently on passage between two European ports, while the Margiris appears to be heading for Cote d'Ivoire).

If Maui's dolphins are made extinct by industrial fishing practices, it would not be 'the first time in history a cetacean would have been wiped out by human activity'; the linked Daily Mail article gets it wrong by making no mention of the baiji, or Yangtze/Chinese river dolphin.
posted by Lebannen at 3:20 AM on August 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think I got all turned around. Originally I had a section of EU-funded super-trawlers in African, and I figured the post was getting out of control.
This should probably be the correct link.

The linked Daily Mail article gets it wrong by making no mention of the baiji, or Yangtze/Chinese river dolphin.

I trusted the Mail and look where it got me.
posted by Mezentian at 3:26 AM on August 12, 2012


Far out! Where have I been that this is all news to me. GREAT post, thanks! I have a big evening of reading ahead.
posted by honey-barbara at 4:16 AM on August 12, 2012


Sink it.

Now, let me go read the articles.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:27 AM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have read so many articles lately where key points are "hidden" in plain sight... at the very end. Emphasis mine.
FELICITY OGILVIE: Can the public trust IMAS's research though if it is being funded by the company that will be doing the fishing?

COLIN BUXTON: Well, the company is not contracting us to do the research. The company is actually giving the money to the government and the government is contracting us to do the research. So I would hope that the answer to your question is yes.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Australian Fisheries Management Authority says that in accordance with government policy, research is often paid for by industry members through fishery levies.
It would be interesting to know if "often" means "when it's very large companies with deep pockets".
posted by fraula at 4:35 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


When I was in grad school in LINY, I saw a talk by Carl Safina (creator of the Blue Ocean Institute ). It was pretty much a 60 minute talk of continuous data showing how the ocean is overfished. Fishermen now have to go deeper into the ocean to find swordfish, for example, that Cape Codders were pulling in from just offshore 100 years ago.

I lived in New Bedford, MA for a year, which has one of the largest working US fishing fleets and there was constant discussion about stocks and recruitment, to fish or not to fish, jobs and hard luck fishermen. The information was never clear enough to discern whether large scale fishing could be managed properly. However, I frequently would think of the Safina overfishing talk (again, I have to emphasize the magnitude of data he presented) and wonder if the ocean is in disrepair--and we're only talking about the fish here.

So now, here's another mega-distance fishing story. I think of that talk again and I wonder about the motives of the companies going that far for something that used to be offshore for them and how they are not saying to themselves, "perhaps our actions are not as positive as we perceive."

Forgive me, I spent the early part of the morning listening to Chris Hedges on Moyers and Company, who, although completely wonderful, didn't leave me with happy feelings. Plus, the state of the ocean is something I worked on and feel close to although it's never been on the fishing side.
posted by danep at 4:41 AM on August 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Thanks for the link to the story about 'slave fishers'...

China's "zombie ships" off the coast of Africa: the grim fish-hook future.
posted by acb at 5:06 AM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


While I have little or no knowledge of fish and fishing, a presentation that has stayed with me was one given by a researcher from the World Fish Center in The Philippines. They have been using mobile phones and training 'citizen scientists' aka the local fishermen on how to assess the size and reproductive ability of their catch in order to work towards sustaining the fish populations. Why can't these big fishing companies start doing the same for their own sustainable future? (Or will they, like the Easter Islanders, cut down their last remaining tree?)
posted by infini at 5:22 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


This Wikipedia article will give you some clues about where this will end.
posted by quidividi at 5:22 AM on August 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Well, we're fucked.

(I had a lengthy argument written out in response to this, but it ended up sounding way too snarky and bitchy - I'm too depressed and tired to post a more cohesive response)
posted by littlesq at 5:44 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hopefully they'll have perfected vat-grown tuna by the time edible fish go extinct.
posted by acb at 5:57 AM on August 12, 2012


This is a hell of a post.

Semi-related... I'm having trouble finding a cite for it, but I recall that in the run up to the Turbot War in 1990's off Newfoundland, there was a rumour that Canadian CF-18s were "accidentally" buzzing Spanish and Portugese trawlers. Buzzing, say, with two fighters a hundred feed over the trawler's decks. Or, say, accidentally breaking the sound barrier on a low-altitude pass over their heads.

It looks like fishers have moved on and evolved into flagging their ships with the local flag and in concert with the local government... rendering that kind of tactic unworkable.
posted by generichuman at 6:00 AM on August 12, 2012


Why can't these big fishing companies start doing the same for their own sustainable future?

There is more money in dragging the oceans until they're empty and then selling your boats. The alternative is to limit your catch (and profits) while other fishing boats maximize their catch (and profits) until the fish are all gone.

You cannot trust an industry to regulate itself. The only answer is international and national regulation to force all fishing concerns (from giant corporations down to guys with fishing rods) to back the fuck off. Big fines. International actions. Don't be afraid to confiscate or sink a few ships if they continue to disobey international regulations. (And that includes whalers pretending to do vital research.) A factory ship would make a nice artificial reef.
posted by pracowity at 6:02 AM on August 12, 2012 [29 favorites]


I have read so many articles lately where key points are "hidden" in plain sight

The article doesn't even mention the name of the ship (unless my unwholesome stew of adblock extensions is hiding it). Seems like an odd thing to leave out of "the full story".

Nevertheless, good FPP, I was completely unaware of this issue.
posted by sidereal at 6:19 AM on August 12, 2012


Now it's so hard to not think of before the big war
When the cod went so cheap, but so plenty
Foreign trawlers go by now with long seeing eyes
Taking all where we seldom take any
- Stan Rogers, Make and Break Harbour.

This song was written in 1976. The trawlers they used then would be laughable today. The lessons we refuse to learn, even when historical evidence shows us what is going to happen.

The cod fishery in Canada has recovered, to some extent, but you can drive through communities that have crumbled and washed into the sea because of those trawlers. It's hard to look at governments who work with these folks as doing anything but selling out the small fishing communities of the world, taking something largely sustainable and turning it into a complete clusterfuck.

I live in a place that's an hour from any number of fishing villages. It breaks your heart to see people selling their lobster traps or nets as "souvenirs" for tourists at $10 a pop, because that's worth more now than their potential for catch. The Dutch in particular are allowing some pretty devastating things to skate through their port without the blink of an eye.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:19 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


This Wikipedia article will give you some clues about where this will end.

If I am reading that correctly, stocks of cod were measured at 10% of their former level after having been left untouched (by Canada, at least) for 18 years.

Is that glass half-empty or half-full?
posted by Egg Shen at 6:28 AM on August 12, 2012


For the love of god, doesn't anybody have a torpedo?
posted by Balok at 6:47 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, looks like we'll get the dystopia we deserve...ecoterrorism looks more and more desirable everyday.
posted by schyler523 at 7:12 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Or, say, accidentally breaking the sound barrier on a low-altitude pass over their heads.


Yeah, this is the sort of thing that it occurred to me nearby nations less than thrilled with depletion of their offshore fisheries might play with. Sort of the equivalent of running a block ahead of the thing, blowing a whistle and banging pots and pans. Although you might do better to drag a modified sonobuoy from an antisub patrol plane?

GO HIDE LITTLE FISH....GO HIDE LITTLE FISH....MESSAGE REPEATS.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:26 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or is this not being done in international waters? I get that it's intended to be operated from Tasmania, but aren't others going to be directly impacted?
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:40 AM on August 12, 2012


Stop eating fish.
posted by hippybear at 8:14 AM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Let's say a country approaches your country, and says hey, we'll lift the levies on the cars you manufacture ( or your wheat, or whatever) if you give us access to you fisheries. Now your car plants are in heavily populated areas with lots of seats, high visibility and big money. Your fisheries are off in a rural area a long way away, with few seats and even less visibility. How do you think that deal will go? Canada sold its fisheries to foreigners for deals for decades, selling out its resources and part of its nation food supply (and security). If the national limits were too low, or it's scientists said there wasn't enough fish, they found someone who would tell them those guys were wrong. It took almost extinction to stop it for the cod, and other species continue to be heavily fished.

And that is Canada. How much will it take for poorer countries to sell their futures?

The fish are so invisible, and the catch numbers are so abstract, that it is very very easy to sell. Honestly, I don't see a way out until farming becomes an economic necessity due to poor wild catches.
posted by Bovine Love at 8:15 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


something something drought something corn blah blah feeding 7 billion people.

the ship is an expected outcome at this point..
posted by ninjew at 8:30 AM on August 12, 2012


You left your milkshake out in the ocean, so I drank it.

If I am reading that correctly, stocks of cod were measured at 10% of their former level after having been left untouched (by Canada, at least) for 18 years.

The migratory routes that cod use are learned, and have evolved over eons. If you replace every single missing fish with a new one, they'll still be screwed if there aren't enough leaders that know where to go and when. If that knowledge is completely lost, that's game over for them. Maybe schools of robotic cod could reteach them, but we don't know the routes perfectly either.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:36 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's crazy to me that we still catch and eat wild animals (fish) on an industrial, global scale.

I guess I'm mostly surprised that there are still enough of these wild animals left for us to eat. We did such a thorough job as a species in dispatching most of the wild animals on the land.

It also boggles my mind that it's still considered socially acceptable to eat fish. I definitely think this is one of those situations where "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."
posted by ErikaB at 8:36 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's crazy to me that we still catch and eat wild animals (fish) on an industrial, global scale.

And that we're not able to create and enforce workable international laws to regulate these industries. Oh yeah, the UN is a socialist organization scheming to take away our freedoms. I thought we were the pinnacle of human civilization or something?
posted by sneebler at 9:56 AM on August 12, 2012


Stop eating fish.

Yep. On a personal scale, that's the right thing to do.

But that still won't save the fish populations, because trawlers, unless they are regulated properly, won't stop catching fish, and other people won't stop eating fish.
posted by pracowity at 9:58 AM on August 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


I was reading some ancillary links that I found through the links in the post. One of them went to, not surprisingly, a book about whaling. There was a particular passage in the book (which written in 1916 by the way, so take that in into account), that was titled "The Rise & Fall of Whaling". Of course, different ocean animal, but it was the perceptions and values of the writer that was rather shocking in his lack of understanding about animal populations in the wild.

MANY persons are under the impression that the decline in the whaling industry is due to
the scarcity of whales -- that the sea has been "fished out" of whales, so to speak, and
that whales are practically exterminated. As a matter of fact the very contrary is the
case and whales are to-day more numerous, and are found nearer the whalemen's
home ports than in the days when whaling was at its zenith. To be sure very large whales
are not common – it takes a hundred years or more for a whale to attain full size – but
medium-sized whales are so numerous as to more than make up for the lack of such
giants as were once captured.

The Real Story Of The Whaler - Whaling, Past And Present
by A. Hyatt Verril
1916
(link to full text)


The same blindness exists with these factory ships catching whatever fishing for and the obscene volume they are harvesting. For this FPP, mackerel and redbait.

I would not be surprised if one could find an industry spokesperson speaking on this current issue attempting to use the same logic to justify the loads a boat like the Magiris can pull in. As if the only thing that matters to the oceans health is the number of the schools of fish not their maturity.

I am not marine biologist by any means, but even I can see that is a flawed conclusion.
posted by lampshade at 10:05 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


As if the only thing that matters to the oceans health is the number of the schools of fish not their maturity.

That's actually exactly what Fishbase staff were trying to create a training kit for fishermen - with pretty measuring tapes and all - "If fish smaller than this throw it back, its an adolescent" or if "too many fish under this size means trouble" kind of thing.
posted by infini at 10:11 AM on August 12, 2012


That's actually exactly what Fishbase staff were trying to create a training kit for fishermen

Is there a version of that that applies the mass harvesters? I know there are some regulations and such, but I wonder if it is not time to raise the age so the various species will have more of chance to flourish?

(in know, i know, i am not holding my breath)
posted by lampshade at 10:43 AM on August 12, 2012


Your question suddenly made me think of all the countless attempts to turn the little guys towards sustainable lifestyles while the big guys carry on as they were - and not just for fishing either.
posted by infini at 10:48 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is more money in dragging the oceans until they're empty and then selling your boats. The alternative is to limit your catch (and profits) while other fishing boats maximize their catch (and profits) until the fish are all gone.

We really are too dumb to be allowed continued stewardship of this planet. I'd welcome some benevolent alien overlords with a benign but overarchingly green agenda, than allow this to continue.
posted by arcticseal at 11:06 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why can't these big fishing companies start doing the same for their own sustainable future?

Well.. I don't know if this still happens but in the past the EU financed a lot of these boats and ventures and the fishermen/ companies had a tendency to default on the loans once the fishing became less than profitable, often within a few years. The way the loans worked the fishermen had outs of things like quotas changed or they didn't catch enough fish. OR they just defaulted.

Now I don't know who they financed this ship but I'd really like to. And see under what conditions they don't have to make the payments anymore, because my cynical prediction is that either those conditions will be met in a few short years or this boat will be fishing in a less regulated environment than Australia.
posted by fshgrl at 12:20 PM on August 12, 2012


If any one is actually concerned with accuracy, her IMO number is 8301187, and she's no no newbuild; she's a retrofit.

And blaming fishermen or fishing companies for overfishing is kinda like blaming Walter White for the meth problem.
posted by digitalprimate at 12:37 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was medically advised to eat fish. Lots of people are. The horrible part is that wild fish are a better food source. Farmed fish are fed all kinds of horrible things, dog-food, antibiotics... They are genetically altered so that if they get loose, their genes mess up wild populations.
I have never been physically healthy on a pure vegetarian diet.
So it's upsetting as Hell to me that fish are being over-caught.
The mis-management of our planet's resources is at best depressing and enraging.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:14 PM on August 12, 2012


Don't be afraid to confiscate or sink a few ships if they continue to disobey international regulations. (And that includes whalers pretending to do vital research.)

Yeah, it occurs to me that the Australian Government, who are permitting this trawler, have in the past implicitly supported Sea Shepherd's actions against Japanese whaling vessels. What's good for the goose...
posted by Jimbob at 2:21 PM on August 12, 2012


arcticseal: "We really are too dumb to be allowed continued stewardship of this planet."

Not dumb. Self absorbed and deliberately ignorant, bordering on the malicious - to the extent that we go out of our way to create, maintain, & live in artificial systems which isolate us from current reality, deliberately act to cloud & confuse our perceptions of the future, and allow the vast majority of us to remain blissfully, wilfully ignorant.

"Dumb" can be cured, or at least ameliorated. "Fuck the future, I'm getting mine NOW!" is much harder to fix.
posted by Pinback at 3:35 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sea Shepherd are, in act, in Australia right now. (Former Greens leader) Bob Brown and the Steve Irwin are scuttling about off the north-west trying to stop Woodside, Chevron, BHP, Shell, BP and their friends turning the otherwise untouched Kimberley region into a new gas processing hub.

This would seem to be a more logical target.
posted by Mezentian at 4:08 PM on August 12, 2012


Answering my own question, but it looks like the Steve Irwin may get involved, calling the Super Trawler "a disaster waiting to happen".
posted by Mezentian at 6:14 PM on August 12, 2012


It would be stupid for Sea Shepherd to NOT get involved. This is a cause more people can get behind. Not that whaling isn't, but they'd have more support with this one from otherwise unlikely people.

I would like to see fishing related better. Maybe even give the ocean ten years to recover, five at least. Commercially, anyway. Private fisherman on shore aren't going to fish the ocean clean, it's the fishing boats that do it.
posted by Malice at 1:43 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I should say, not that anti-whaling* isn't.

I haven't seen many pro-whaling un-protests going on.
posted by Malice at 2:53 AM on August 13, 2012


Amazing political post, wish more folks did it like this, thanks so much.
posted by mediareport at 7:14 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


@Katusja Roquette: there are heaps of breeds few or no people eat, which you'd do no harm eating. More sardines are used for fertiliser than fed to humans (disgusting - they were considered a treat when i was a child), and you can't even buy their bigger cousin the pilchard anywhere anymore - not because they're extinct but because people only want the fish equivalent of steak. Eels reproduce like billy-oh although the sea ones are horrid and fatty it's the freshwater ones that are lovely and salty, i like coley and i love mackerel. I can't believe what's happened to herring - was 30p when i was young, now about £5. ??!! You can eat fish eggs (roe) might be healthy. There are organic farmed fish. I don't know much about freshwater fish, but you might be able to meet someone who fishes for fun who can supply you the odd one. Spider crabs are invading the UK and need catching and eating up. Not sure how much goodness they contain. Mussels breed like rats and taste horrible and are about the greenest thing you can eat. I think chilli-ginger-garlic mix would take care of the taste. Don't despair, just become an expert, worth it in the long run.
posted by maiamaia at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2012


I was going round the harbour in Milford Haven looking at the boats, as i love my big machinery, and i was like, what are those tall metal masts sticking out a bit sideways not straight up, with no sails, and chains with huge metal poles dangling from them? Huge metal poles as in, drainage pipe huge, a foot across or more. Those were the trawling equipment - they literally scrape up the seabed, breaking anything like corals in their way, it's like a giant scraping the countryside with a huge knife, and then just throwing away everything except any sheep he caught. (I live in Wales...adapt for your landscape!) And just everything else is thrown back in, broken, dead...i thought trawlers just had huge nets, i hadn't realised that they had metal bars weighing tonnes...utterly, pointlessly, stupidly destructive and wasteful.
posted by maiamaia at 11:09 AM on August 13, 2012


Having read the post (i worked upwards!) two points:
1 i believe the Burmese river dolphin (may be another se asian country) is going to soon or has just died out. That's the first cetacean/dolphin to die out since (i forget rest)
2 i heard a fascinating programme on Radio 4 (uk BBC) a couple of years ago about how archaeologists found during the middle ages cod skeletons that were one metre long or something but as the middens/rubbish-heaps get more modern, like by about 1500 or something, they start to shrink and shrink because of over-fishing and so didn't get to grow as old any more. So an adult cod would be ancient and huge but hasn't been seen for centuries, and over-fishing is also older than you knew. But probably exponential!
3 my uncle (no, i can't count) moved to Newfoundland recently and is constantly regaled with the 'you used to be able to walk on them across the water it was so thick with cod' stories, they still sell for a few pence the lb pound frozen down the road.
posted by maiamaia at 11:20 AM on August 13, 2012


.....utterly, pointlessly, stupidly destructive and wasteful.

Not pointlessly, I'm afraid. There is very much a point. Trawlers are a very effective way to catch fish. Effective == lower cost (in the short and mid term anyway). Bigger trawlers are, generally, even more efficient. Factory trawlers which can freeze on board are not only even more efficient, but also help product a better quality product. Trawlers have managed to keep fish more or less affordable in spite of all the low-cost inshore fisheries dying, along with fishermen getting beyond serf status. Without trawlers either fisherman would have to be dirt poor, or we'd have to pay an awful lot for fish. Actually, to be honest, that happened, and we still fished out the inshore fisheries in most places, leaving only the trawlers.

Trawlers very much have a point.
posted by Bovine Love at 11:41 AM on August 13, 2012


Almost every article I read these days about fishing and the ocean makes me cry...
posted by Theta States at 9:17 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Federal Independent MP Andrew Wilkie says the Commonwealth Ombudsman has agreed to investigate the fishing quota awarded to a super trawler bound for Tasmania.

I'm curious as to what the Ombudsman can do, especially if the trawler is on its way here, but I can't help thinking this is a good. Sign.

Seafish will no doubt threaten legal action.
posted by Mezentian at 5:03 PM on August 14, 2012


Aha.
The Government is going to attempt to legislate to stop the boat until more studies can be done.

Let's see if the Greens can snatch defeat from the jaws of this one.
posted by Mezentian at 7:34 PM on September 10, 2012


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