One of the world’s biggest fishing trawlers with a history of over exploiting fish stocks, the FV Margiris, wants to trawl for small pelagic fish – some of the most critical species in our marine ecosystem. Small pelagic fishing around Tasmania already has a bad record. The surface schools of jack mackerel that were once common off southeast Tasmania have not returned after the collapse of that fishery over 20 years ago.
The fish are a vital food source for important species like the critically endangered southern bluefin tuna, marine mammals, seabirds and game fish. Trawlers like this not only catch the target species, they also get tonnes of bycatch – unwanted marine life like dolphins, seals and seabirds, that gets thrown back dead.
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