Supertrawlers will be permanently banned from Australian waters, the federal government announced on Wednesday. The move follows the temporary bans on supertrawlers imposed by the Labor government two years ago and re-endorsed by Tony Abbott in March. The first ban expired in November and the second was up for review in April. The parliamentary secretary for agriculture, Richard Colbeck, said the government would stop vessels longer than 130m from fishing in Australian waters.
This definition of supertrawler does not take into account the processing capacity of a vessel, which proponents of the ban say is just as critical as the size of the vessel. “This government will introduce regulations under the Fisheries Management Act to give effect to this decision,” Colbeck said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. “This decision will have policy effect immediately.”