A group of Hobartians gathered this morning at the dockside where the new longline fishing vessel Antarctic Aurora is docked and preparing to wallop sub-Antarctic fisheries off Australia’s World Heritage Macquarie, Heard and McDonald Islands.
“In a world which has the majority of its fisheries collapsed or in rapid decline, the waters off these remote islands should be marine national parks. The long lines involve thousands of hooks spaced a metre apart, and the destination is the plates of China and the USA. We aim to put a public focus on the growing global tide of profiteering from the Antarctic and its oceans,” Jenny Weber from Bob Brown Foundation said.
“This vessel operating out of Hobart is longline, legal and lethal. Our aim is to protect the world’s last wild fisheries from plunder. The public has a right to know that Hobart is being used as a base for the expanding looting of the Antarctic marine ecosystem,” she said
"The Antarctic Aurora can drop 60,000 hooks into the pristine waters of the Antarctic to hunt for the toothfish. Antarctica’s oceans and wildlife need protection in secure marine reserves. The toothfish can live 3000m deep in icy waters and live to 50 years old. It shouldn’t be hunted with tens of thousands of hooks which can also kill sea birds, sharks and other species."