Caroline Hoisington | Canberra Times, 15 September 2012

CPD fellow makes a convincing economic case against the supertrawler FV Margiris and other ‘floating factories’

While arguments against the unsustainable fishing operations of supertrawlers like the Margiris have, predictably, been based on environmental grounds, comparatively little analysis is given to why supertrawlers are also bad news for our economy.  CPD Fellow Caroline Hoisington draws on her expertise as a marine economist to add a fiscal dimension to the debate by citing the fishing communities of West Africa and the South Pacific that welcomed supertrawlers, only to have their fish stocks dramatically depleted, to the detriment of  local industry.

“When a trawler like Margiris comes to waters like Australia’s to scoop up low-value feed fish, it suggests that its business model is on the way out.”

With its track record for devastating fishing communities, and destabilising the biodiversity of local marine life, media scrutiny of the supertrawler’s presence and the consequent public outcry has seen the government impose a 2-year ban on the Margiris.  But when this ban expires, the compelling economic arguments against supertrawlers should not be forgotten.


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