A TOP fisheries scientist has slammed the government's 11th-hour move to stop the controversial Abel Tasman super trawler as unscientific and driven by political expediency.
Colin Buxton, the director of the fisheries, aquaculture and coasts centre at the University of Tasmania's institute for marine and antarctic studies, said that the size of the 142-metre Dutch-owned trawler did not mean that it posed any greater environmental risk than several smaller vessels.
"It's just staggering [that] popularism and political expediency is now managing our fisheries," he said. "I think it's incredibly dangerous. It's really sad that the decision has been handed down in this way."