15 June 2018
Mr Darren Kindleysides
Australian Marine Conservation Society
Dear Mr Kindleysides
I understand the Australian Marine Conservation Society is engaged yet again in another dishonest and misleading campaign in relation to super trawlers, distant water fishing fleets and Australia’s marine parks.
The Australian public deserves better.
The Coalition Government has created a world-class network of marine parks that covers 36% of our oceans, well in excess of the international benchmark of 10%, and which protects more conservation features than what Labor proposed.
Our marine park network is the second largest in the world and we've put in place some of the strongest marine environment and biodiversity protections ever implemented.
Without any evidence and contrary to the facts, your email claims that Australia's oceans are about to be opened to distant water fishing fleets and super-trawlers, dramatically increasing the tonnage of fish taken from our seas.
This is simply not true.
There has been no removal of protections because the former Labor government's proposed marine park management plans never came into operation. There were no protections in place!
Super trawlers were banned from Australian waters in 2015.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has informed me that no approvals are in place for any foreign vessels fishing to operate in Commonwealth waters.
Furthermore, neither the Australian Government nor AFMA, is engaged in discussions with foreign governments, in relation to either the acquisition of fishing licences or the deeming of vessels as Australian fishing vessels to operate in the Australian Fishing Zone.
Australians can be rightly proud of our world class, sustainably managed Commonwealth fisheries, which are underpinned by ecologically sustainable catch limits, world-leading scientific research and a strong legislative and policy framework.
Under this Coalition Government, Australians can be confident that we will have both the world's best marine park network and the world’s most sustainably managed fisheries.
This letter will be made available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources' website at www.agriculture.gov.au.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
Senator for South Australia