The company which sent the ‘super trawler’ to Australia has slammed the Federal Government’s ban, likening the decision to a third world country measure.

And the Federal Opposition agrees the giant vessel should be free to fish here.

Sam Canavan reports.


The 142-metre Abel Tasman was contracted to fish in Australia by Seafish Tasmania.

Now the failed venture will put the foreign crew out of work.

Gerry Green, Seafish Tasmania director: “Absolutely astonished that this could actually happen in Australia. Bitterly disappointed, it feels like a third world country reaction to me.”

The super trawler is set to be banished from Australian waters for at least two years while an independent expert panel assess its environmental, social and economic impacts.

Tony Burke, Environment Minister: “My concern is the species that you’re not actually trying to catch, but end up getting caught up anyway. Be it your dolphins, be it your seals, be it your sea birds when the net’s being raised.”

The opposition blasted the planned ban as a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ in Parliament this morning, saying the move could affect the entire fishing industry.

Greg Hunt, Shadow Environment Minister: “This is live cattle on steroids, and it is a trojan horse because it is an attack on every family fishing operation.”

Rob Oakeshott, Independent MP: “It is a very questionable and surprised decision that has come out of the Government party room yesterday.”

The trawler contractor says it’s considering its legal options.

Sam Canavan, QUT News.