THE controversy surrounding the Geelong Star continues, with conservation groups calling for the release of footage from the super-trawler.
The vessel’s operations have led to the deaths of several seals and dolphins, and it was revealed its nets.
A small amount of footage of the incident has been released, but conservationists want more transparency about the super-trawler’s operations in the Small Pelagic Fishery.
Australian Marine Conservation Society spokesperson Josh Coates said conjecture on what happened to the whale shark “could easily be cleared up by releasing the full, unedited footage of the incident”.
“The Small Pelagic Fishing industry association is in damage control, and has released four seconds of footage that in no way assists us to understand what happened.
“If it is possible for them to release footage when it suits them, why can’t the full footage be released to the public, along with the footage of seal, dolphin and seabird deaths?
and the wider Australian community and call for increased transparency and accountability for “These latest protected species deaths are the last straw.”
Rebecca Hubbard Environment Tasmania spokesperson Rebecca Hubbard said the Geelong Star was “hiding behind the Australian Fisheries Management Agency (AFMA) and being protected from proper public scrutiny”.
“Only a ban on all freezer factory trawlers in the Small Pelagic Fishery will end this unfolding environmental, social and economic disaster.”
In a statement last week, the AFMA said it was downloading and reviewing the footage “to verify logbook reports, including protected species interactions”.
“The camera system is in addition, and operates independently, to the AFMA observer and bycatch “The recent interaction with the whale shark and all other protected species be included in quarterly public reporting on AFMA’s website.”