Margiris shipping trawler vessel. Photo: FleetMon.comMargiris shipping trawler vessel. Photo: FleetMon.comAustralians are rallying together in a bid to stop one of the most destructive environmental forces known to our oceans, known as the FV Margiris super trawler. Yes that's right, a fishing technique that belongs back in the filthy industrial revolution, is on its was to Australian shores with the world's second largest super trawler.

The FV Margiris, in a joint venture partnership with Seafish Tasmania, wants to trawl for small pelagic fish, some of the most critical species in our marine ecosystem, and base itself on Tasmania's north coast. It will be fishing in Australian waters for the favourite food of the critically endangered Southern Bluefin Tuna, albatross and a myriad of other marine life. Trawlers of this type have a horrendous record of by-catch and the ship itself also represents a direct threat to marine mammals like dolphins and seals.

FV Margiris, is currently sitting off the east coast of Africa and will depart for Devenport, Tasmania where it intends to fish 17,500 tonnes annually of jack mackerel, blue mackerel and redbait. The Margiris is 142 metres in length and weighs 9,600 tonnes and it has the capacity to process, freeze and carry 6,200 metric tonnes of fish before off loading. European ships like this 142-metre super trawler can haul such huge quantities of fish that they can no longer fish in European waters and to cover the cost of these super trawlers they desperately seek new fishing grounds to plunder.

The super trawler and her sister ships have already contributed to the overexploitation of fish stocks in West Africa and the South Pacific. The South Pacific jack mackerel fishery, a favourite of this super trawler and the European Pelagic Freezer-Trawler Association (PFA), made headlines this year when fish populations plummeted by ninety percent. Off West Africa almost all the PFA's target species are now fully exploited or overexploited, prompting the Senegalese government to expel all PFA vessels from their waters.

The vessel is not yet registered to operate in Australia and does not currently have a permit. Seafish Tasmania Director Gerry Geen, expects that process to be completed in August. "Seafish Tasmania has been allocated a quota of 18,000 tonnes annually by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority. We will employ the Margiris, a freezer vessel, to fish in Commonwealth Waters outside the three-mile State limits. The super trawler will be based in Devonport because it lies in the middle of the fishery which stretches from Western Australia to Queensland," he said. "The fish we catch will be cold-stored in Devonport and then transported and sold to African and Asian countries."

Small Pelagic Fishery Map - the area of the propsed operation of the super trawler Margiris. Photo: Australian Fisheries Managment Authority (click to view a larger version)Small Pelagic Fishery Map - the area of the propsed operation of the super trawler Margiris. Photo: Australian Fisheries Managment Authority (click to view a larger version)It is ironic that after the Margiris and other members of the PFA were expelled from West African waters that they will now harvest small pelagic fish from Australian waters to feed those whose fisheries have been destroyed by them. Care2 reports, "It takes 56 traditional Mauritanian boats one year to catch the volume of fish that an EU vessel can capture and process in a single day" [3]. That's 56 boats' worth of crews' yearly salary destroyed by over-exploitation of one day by foreign super trawlers.

"Senegal's only resource is the sea. One in five people work in the industry but if you put those people out of work then you can imagine what will happen. Senegal could become like Somalia," Abdou Karim Sall, president of the Fishermen's Association of Joal and the Committee of Marine Reserves in West Africa told The Guardian.

With its record of destruction it is not surprising that Australian conservation groups, recreational and professional fisherman are all opposed to arrival of the super trawler.

The company bringing this super trawler to Australia thinks that marine species exist purely for the purpose of making profits. That's why these obscene floating factories exist - to empty the oceans in the shortest possible time and maximise the return on capital to their owners. Australian authorities should head them off before the ship ever arrives in our territorial waters, as once the damage is done, it almost certainly can't be reversed.

At a time when the Australian government is talking up taking action against over-fishing globally, it would be hypocritical to allow such a destructive force against nature to operate in Australian waters.

If this super trawler is allowed to operate in Australia, it would mean huge impacts on the already critically endangered Southern Bluefin Tuna and albatross, and the tragic death of seals and dolphins through being trapped and drowned in this super trawler's indiscriminate killing nets of death as "by-catch".

If overfishing does not stop, the world's fisheries will completely collapse by 2048. The reality is that the oceans that provide up to eighty percent of our oxygen are in deep trouble and allowing this super trawler to operate in Australia's waters would be a further sealing of humanities fate.

Sea Shepherd are calling on all our supporters to please for our oceans sake and our children's sake, please assist Sea Shepherd in stopping this super trawler.

Newspaper advertisement opposing the Trawler. Photo: Stopthetrawler.netNewspaper advertisement opposing the Trawler. Photo: Stopthetrawler.netHere is what you can do to help:

1. Click here for more information and to sign the petition, and ask 5 of your friends to do the same and share on your social media sites.
2. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Prime Minister Julia Gillard to express your concerns.
3. Write letters to the editor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
4. Get involved with the Australian national day of action to stop the Trawler on Saturday 11th August.

The National Day of Action aims to demonstrate to state and federal politicians the breadth and depth of opposition to the super trawler right around Australia. Here is what you can do:

1. Create a banner with "Protect our Marine Life - Stop the Super Trawler," or print out the following ad from Environment Tasmania.

2. Choose a local landmark or your local state or federal MP's office: Pictures of banners with landmarks or local politicians' offices will help to make the issue relevant to your area and show your elected representatives that people in their electorates oppose the super trawler.

3. Organize friends, colleagues and family to join you for the action and photo shoot

4. Call your local newspaper and ask them to cover your action as part of the National Day of Action

5. Take a photo of your groups action and email your pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for posting on our social media networks.

Sea Shepherd
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is returning to Mexico’s Gulf of California for Operation Milagro III to save the near extinct vaquita marina porpoise and the endangered totoaba bass. The M/V Farley Mowat is back on active duty with the M/V Sam Simon joining the Milagro campaign for the first ti...
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
The Farley Mowat Sea Shepherd crew is called out to investigate a dead Brydes whale in the Gulf of California on November 5th, 2016 while patrolling the vaquita refuge. To help the Sea Shepherd crew to continue its work in the Sea of Cortez, including protecting the near-extinct vaquita marina porpo...
Entanglement in the South
Entanglement in the South
Operation Guardian Angel - In and around Bahia de Los Angeles, in the Gulf of California, countless marine species are entrapped in nets with little or no hope of rescue. Rosalia Tellez works for CONANP, a department of the Mexican government that acts as park rangers to enforce laws and assist in ...
Good and Bad Days
Good and Bad Days
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers over the course of two days. The first day Sea Shepherd locates and removes a long line from the sea; fortunately no animals were caught in the net. However, the next day volunteers find a sea lion that has been caught and died in a fisherman's net.
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Sea Shepherd campaign Operation Virus Hunter saw the vessel RV Martin Sheen under the leadership of Alexandra Morton, head up the coast of British Columbia Canada to expose open pen Atlantic salmon farms and the impact they are having on wild Pacific salmon and the the surrounding eco-systems.
Illegal Totoaba Nets
Illegal Totoaba Nets
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers through the process of locating, retrieving and disposing of illegal nets in the Gulf of California.
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
August 12th 2016: Early Thursday morning the R/V Martin Sheen assisted Melissa Willie, a band councilor of the Musgamagw Dza’wada’enuxw nation, in hand delivering a letter to three farms expressing the nations disapproval of the industry. Sea Shepherd crew alongside independent biologist Alexand...
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
Ross McCall travels to the Faroe Islands to explore the truths behind the centuries old tradition of the brutal Pilot Whale drives.
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Sea Shepherd Chairman of the Board, actor/activist Pamela Anderson, cautions viewers about the dangers of eating farmed salmon.
Why Just One?  Indiegogo Video
Why Just One? Indiegogo Video
Support Sea Shepherd's documentary by sharing and backing our Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1OfvER6
Milagro Summary - English
Milagro Summary - English
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Operation Milagro II has come to an end. Milagro is its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Watch the crew of the Farley Mowat capture footage of illegal fishing activity with a night vision drone and pull up a totoaba net in the dead of night. This is the final vlog of Operation Milagro II!
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project is dedicated to collect samples from whales in the Gulf of California to measure levels of toxins in whales in order to determine the levels of toxins in the Gulf of California itself. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Never before seen footage. Sea Shepherd catches critically endangered totoaba poacher in the act. The Sea Shepherd crew filmed these totoaba poachers as they were checking one of their illegal nets in the protected vaquita habitat. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the wor...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Watch‬ the routine of our crew doing valuable work in the ‪Sea of Cortez‬. We have been very effective at removing illegal fishing gear from the ‪‎vaquita‬ porpoise's habitat. So much so, that now, most of the time we remove nets and lines that are mostly empty, our favorite thing to do....
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
The Sea Shepherd crew has found 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks in the month of march of 2016. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org/milagro2
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
While patrolling the waters of the upper Gulf of California the Sea Shepherd crew found a dead vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the whole world. The crew also found a Great White Shark caught in an illegal gillnet.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
This week, the crew of ‪Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The M/V Farley Mowat and The RV Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass long line from the critically endangered ‪vaquita porpoise habitat. The totoaba fish is also critically endangered. Watch all episodes at: http...
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd crew rescued a whale entangled in an illegal totoaba gillnet in the Gulf of California. Sea Shepherd currently has two vessels in Mexico's Gulf of California on OPERATION MILAGRO. Our goal is to save the vaquita porpoises, the most endangered marine mammal. The vaquita are caught as a r...
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
You might know Gregg Lowe from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now watch him explain Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro and understand why we must save the #VaquitaMarina - The most endangered cetacean in the world. Help us save the vaquita at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/donate-now/vaquita-appeal...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 - Big Fish
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 11 - Big Fish
This week the crew of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The Farley Mowat and The Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass net from the critically endangered vaquita marina's habitat Watch all episodes at: http://www.seashepherd.org/milagro2/multimedia/videos.html ‪#‎OpMilag...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 - Light up the Dark
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 10 - Light up the Dark
Actor Gregg Lowe crews with Sea Shepherd to help us protect the vaquita. The M/V Farley Mowat lights up the vaquita refuge and deters poacher from laying deadly nets in the vaquita marina's habitat. Watch all episodes at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/multimedia
Sea Shepherd Wildlife - False Killer Whales
Sea Shepherd Wildlife - False Killer Whales
The first video of our new series "Sea Shepherd Wildlife". This episode is about one of the lesser know large dolphins - The False Killer Whales. Learn more about these beautiful creatures with the Sea Shepherd crew. Share it with your friends. Video by Carolina A. Castro Narration by Nicole D'Entr...
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat
Sea Shepherd Removes gillnet from Endangered Vaquita Habitat.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 - Gillnet Damage
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 05 - Gillnet Damage
Join the crew of the R/V Martin Sheen as they witness the damage a gillnet can cause to marine wildlife while patrolling the endangered vaquita's refuge in Mexico.