PORTLAND recreational tuna fishermen opposed to the foreign mega-trawler Margiris taking baitfish in local waters may be on the verge of winning a significant tactical victory, with a report that the Commonwealth Ombudsman will consider a formal investigation into the setting of the boat’s fishing quota.
Tasmanian Independent Andrew Wilkie, who fears the trawler will drastically overfish for mackerel and other baitfish chased by southern bluefin tuna, initially said the Ombudsman’s office had committed to an investigation, but late on Wednesday, Acting Ombudsman Alison Larkins said she was still looking at Mr Wilkie’s complaint
“There is genuine uncertainty now over the legality of the process that determined the quota for the giant factory ship which is due in Tasmania any day,” Mr Wilkie said.
He argued that a ruling against the ship by the Ombudsman would be further evidence the fishing quota for the Margiris is not worth the paper it’s written on and the quota needs to be ripped up and the whole assessment process started again.
Read more in Friday’s edition of the Portland Observer.