Environment Tasmania successfully worked in coalition with commercial fishers to see off the Super Trawler from Tasmania’s waters in 2017.
In the early 1980s, Australia took control of its waters, only allowing foreign fishing vessels entry by agreement. However in 2015 two European super trawlers (industrial fishing boats that catch, process, freeze and store their catch on a massive scale) were approved to fish in Australian waters.
This shocked the Australian public and Environment Tasmania swiftly mobilised to assemble the Stop the Super Trawler coalition in Tasmania. As the Dutch vessel Dirk Dirk, renamed the Geelong Star, headed for south-eastern Australian waters, commercial fishers joined in coalition with Environment Tasmania in grassroots organisation, holding public meetings and demonstrations, meeting with ministers, garnering media attention and making their voices heard.
“[Government] continues to ignore a broad cross-section of the Australian community who do not want to see this kind of industrialisation of our fisheries, and increased threats to our protected marine life” Bec Hubbard, Environment Tasmania's Marine Campaigner, Sydney Morning Herald, 20th February 2015.
Ultimately the fight was won with the Tasmanian Government permanently banning Super Trawlers from State waters in 2017.