Commonwealth bans mid-water trawl freezer vessels

THE super trawler Abel Tasman will not be allowed to fish in Australia's small pelagic fishery region after the Commonwealth banned all large mid-water trawl freezer vessels from fishing such regions.

While Environment Minister Tony Burke previously banned the trawler from operating in Australian waters, the ban has been extended to all similar trawlers from fishing the small migratory fish.

MR Burke said the decision was based on "uncertainty about the environmental impacts" of such vessels on the fish.

The decision comes after various companies and community groups put in submissions to the government about its temporary ban on the super trawler.

Mr Burke said he also had the backing of Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig on the ban, which will run for two years, while an expert panel investigates the possible effects of such large freezer trawlers.

"I will decide on the make-up of the panel and its terms of reference in consultation with the Fisheries Minister," Mr Burke said.

"My aim is to have the panel up and running in the coming weeks so it can begin this important task of assessing the environment impacts of this kind of fishing


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