A ban on commercial fishing in Australian waters by the super trawler Abel Tasman will be extended for two years while the environmental impacts are assessed, the federal government says.
Environment Minister Tony Burke on Monday said the extension would take effect from midnight on Monday.
Mr Burke made an interim declaration on September 20 prohibiting this type of fishing activity for 60 days.
'During this time I invited and considered written submissions from fishing businesses,' the minister said in a statement.
'After considering the matters raised in the submissions, I am of the view that there is uncertainty about the environmental impacts of this type of fishing operation and it is appropriate to prohibit it while it is assessed by an expert panel.'
The decision could lead to legal action being brought against the government by the trawler's operator, Seafish Tasmania.
'The company have made clear, public and personally, that if they thought they needed to they would pursue all legal options available to them,' Mr Burke told reporters in Canberra.
But he said the government was on 'completely strong legal ground' to counter any compensation claims or legal challenges.
It was not uncommon for commercial projects to be held up by environmental regulations while checks were carried out, Mr Burke added.