Fisheries authority rejects Antarctic fishing zone claims The Australian Fisheries Management Authority says claims by environmental groups that a Japanese company has been granted a licence to fish for patagonian toothfish in Australia’s Antarctic fishing zone are simply untrue.
Environmental groups, including Greenpeace, have claimed the Australian Government has granted a Japanese company access to the lucrative territory around the Heard and McDonald islands.
The fisheries management authority’s Richard McLoughlin says the company has bought a quota in the fishery, which has then been leased to a Tasmanian fishing company.
Mr McLoughlin says the territory is strictly controlled, with only three vessels allowed to operate in the area, including two Austral Fisheries boats based in Albany, in southern Western Australia.
“It has a management plan in place, some of the most strictest environmental conditions and regulations of any fishery in the world and they’re all Australian companies that are involved that manage those three vessels, so any thoughts or opinion that Japanese vessels were somehow being licensed to fish in that area for toothfish is erroneous,” he said