The recent announcement from Minister Tanya Plibersek to expand the Macquarie Island marine park is a great step toward protecting the Southern Ocean and is welcomed by the Bob Brown Foundation.
However, it falls just short of being a complete and true marine protected area by allowing fishing activities inside the Macquarie Island Marine Park.
This comes after two Australian industrial fishing companies called the proposal for a marine park around Macquarie Island a “baseless ocean grab.”
Unfortunately, instead of 100% no fishing allowed, these two companies, Austral Fisheries and Australian Longline have ensured that fishing is allowed in the marine park.
“This is like the unveiling of the Mona Lisa but with one eye missing,” said Alistair Allan Antarctic campaigner at the Bob Brown Foundation.
“It is almost a masterpiece of ocean conservation but there is a tiny bit missing. A marine park should be an area that offers complete respite from all industrial activities. Considering that the toothfish fishery is akin to shark fin soup, in that it is a luxury product, we can do without it in a marine park.”
“Austral Fisheries and Australian Longline, send industrial longliners to Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands. There they deploy kilometres and kilometres of longline with up to 60,000 hooks. All of this to catch a luxury fish that does nothing to contribute to global food security. Yet they have the gall to call the government’s proposal a “baseless ocean grab”. They have it backwards. Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic toothfish fishing is the real baseless ocean grab.”
” For companies that view themselves as sustainable and doing the right thing I issue them a challenge. I ask that David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries and Malcolm McNeill, CEO of Australian Longline, contact Tanya Plibersek and say they support 100% no fishing in the Macquarie Island Marine Park. There is a lot of talk from these companies about how they a green companies. They are the only ones that ruined a perfect outcome. Let’s see them fix it.”