22 June 2015
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has called for an immediate ban on the Geelong Star fishing in Australian waters after the factory freezer ship killed yet another dolphin, this time on its third trip.
“It should be three strikes and you’re out,’’ Mr Wilkie said. “The Geelong Star has killed dolphins on every trip in Australian waters and I say that strike rate should see it banned immediately from fishing in our waters.’’
In May, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority said eight dolphin deaths in two trips was unacceptable and imposed measures including a night-time ban on fishing to minimise the interaction with marine mammals. Mr Wilkie said these steps clearly had not worked and banning fishing in zones where deaths occurred simply moved the problem to another zone.
“The Geelong Star will just pack up and move to another zone and continue fishing and killing dolphins and seals,’’ Mr Wilkie said. “The only way to guarantee no more dolphin and seal deaths is to ban the Geelong Star once and for all.’’
Mr Wilkie said questions surrounding conflicts of interest in the setting of the quota for the Geelong Star remained unanswered – adding to the need for an immediate fishing ban on the factory freezer ship.
Mr Wilkie has a complaint currently before the Commonwealth Ombudsman regarding the setting of the quota.