Ignoring science in politics

Nearly two years ago the Australian government passed a law banning the “super trawler” FV Abel Tasman from fishing in Australian waters. The ban will expire later this year. The campaign against the FV Abel Tasman was mounted by a coalition of fishing and conservation lobbies, strange bedfellows, but surprisingly effective.

Opposition focused on the size of the vessel, rather than the size of the quota. Politicians and activists ignored work by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority when it didn’t support their argument; the debate was not based on scientific evidence.

Casual disregard for the scientific method was widespread.

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