Environmentalist and former Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown has blasted the University of Tasmania for its reported condemnation of Sea Shepherd’s campaign to confiscate illegal fishnets from the Southern Ocean.
The university also released an article earlier this month on Sea Shepherd’s Icefish Operation which targets illegal fishing of Patagonian and Antarctic Toothfish in the Southern Ocean “to fill a law enforcement void” The academic writers cautioned “that when it comes to the law and toothfish, Sea Shepherd may have to be careful it doesn’t end up on the wrong side. ”
Brown said the university’s stance is “counter-productive academic hogwash”.
Brown, through The Sea Shepherd’s press release clarified,”With most of the world’s wild fisheries collapsing, this carping criticism of the only people taking high-seas action against the Patagonian toothfish poachers will damage the University of Tasmania’s remnant international reputation as a centre of environmental wisdom”,
He added, “Compounding the university’s learned negativity is the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources executive secretary’s reported opinion that hauling the pirate toothfishers’ abandoned nets or lines out of the Southern Ocean is fishing and therefore unauthorised.”
“This fails the primary school common sense test. Citizens are left to assume CCAMLR wants the deadly nets left drifting through the ocean”, Brown said.
“Instead of backing Sea Shepherd Australia’s ocean-saving ships Bob Barker and Sam Simon in their life-saving work these negative nerds are head-banging their desks while the villains flee back to Africa. Taxpayers have every right to expect the experts would be earning their pay better than this, even in the Silly Season”, he said. “All the more so when the fishing industry’s Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators has praised Sea Shepherd’s work.”
Brown heads the Bob Brown Foundation.