February 12, 2007
Australian government defeats Greens attempt to close tuna fisheries
The Australian Government last week defeated an attempt by the Australian Green Party to close down the country's AUS $200 million (US$155 million) southern bluefin tuna (SBT) industry.
Australian Minister for Fisheries and Conservation, Sen Eric Abetz said that the effect of a Greens' motion in the Senate would forgo Australia's national catch allocation and would require fisheries to be closed immediately for at least six months, putting billions of investments and hundreds of jobs in jeopardy.
Australia's national catch allocation was agreed upon by the international Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) as part of an agreement, to cut back global catches, Abetz said. It is within levels recommended by the CCSBT's independent scientific committee, he added.
The fact the Australian Greens oppose the allocation - despite it being consistent with the advice of the CCSBT's independent scientific committee is indicative of their policy of putting ideology ahead of evidence and the livelihoods of Australian families, he said.