A group of Tasmanians will gather in protest at the Hobart dockside from which the new longline fishing vessel Antarctic Aurora is set to depart today to smash sub-Antarctic toothfish fisheries off Australia’s World Heritage Macquarie, Heard and McDonald Islands.
“Despite efforts to appear sustainable, this vessel is targeting a species that is a luxury fish. Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish is not a sustainable fishery that provides food security to the globe. Rather they are a status meal of a species that we know little about in 5-star hotels and fancy restaurants” said Alistair Allan from the Bob Brown Foundation.
“The toothfish industry touts their Antarctic and Sub Antarctic operations as one of the world’s most regulated fisheries, but with most of the Earth’s fisheries in rapid decline or near collapse, we cannot trust that the toothfish is not destined for the same fate. This fish is red-listed by NGOs due to its position as an apex predator and previous overfishing in the ’80s and ’90s. It is a fish we should not be catching. The plunder and destruction of the ‘regulated’ orange roughy fishery should be kept in mind.”
“This vessel operating out of Hobart is a longliner, legal and lethal. It can set as many as 60,000 hooks. We aim to protect Antarctica’s ecosystem from plunder. In a very short amount of time industrial whaling and sealing brought both species to the brink of extinction in the Antarctic. We cannot allow the same to happen to toothfish. The public has a right to know that Hobart is being used as a base for the expanding looting of the Antarctic,” he said.