Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

Fishing Charter industry warns marine parks invite illegal fishing

by Jeni Bone on 8 Sep 2011
Fishing charter businesses are committed to a sustainable industry. ..
There is a great deal of anxiety in all segments of the marine industry about the impact of marine parks, particularly the wide-ranging East Coast Marine Protected Areas. Charter boat and fishing charter vessels are often ignored by the media when it comes to comment about the potential impact of marine parks on their businesses.

They occupy the waters between commercial fishing operations and recreational fishers, relying on the occasional and the avid angler for their trade, which can run hot and cold depending on the season or the conditions.

One charter boat operator on the Gold Coast has been in business for 12 years, plying the sea from Point Lookout to the NSW border.

He states that charter fishing operators are very committed to the principles of conservation, but against the current incarnation of 'banning access to great areas'.

'We have a massive investment in our businesses with the cost of boats, equipment, registration, marketing and crew. We need the industry to be sustainable to ensure our future, as well as the marine ecosystem.'

According to this owner/operator, who chose not to be named, 'the issue of marine parks is complicated'.

'I am against them in their current form, but would support a ban on fishing in certain, suitable places. We need to treat the sea as a nursery and resource, not abuse it. On a local basis, we should have areas that are known fishing grounds closed for a year, say 10 to 20 square nautical miles, and then reopen them. They replenish quickly and there are plenty of other fishing grounds we can go to.'

He also emphasises that fishing charter boats are in the unique position of being out on the water most days and have the ability to choose where they fish and limit their catches. 'For example, if we catch one Teraglin for each person onboard, we won't catch any more. We'll move to another place and catch amberjack, or mackerel, again one for each person. We are very conscious of diversity.'

Col McKenzie is executive director of The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators Pty Ltd (AMPTO), the peak industry body for marine tourism within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

AMPTO has the charter to cover any marine park nationally, but its members essentially come from the Great Barrier Reef and Moreton Bay Marine Park areas.

McKenzie says many of the 110 members are very worried about being locked out of huge tracts of sea around the Reef and beyond.

'As I see it the key to it is to make them multiple use zones. If the government stated they would spend $10m policing marine parks and managing them, there might be justification for it. But they are not. GBRMPA is underfunded as it is. How is the government going to maintain and monitor larger marine parks?

'Why would you triple the area when the only real problems in this area are illegal fishing and outfall pollution. Recreational fishing is miniscule and I can’t see there’s any environmental impact, diving is on a ‘look don’t take’ basis, and then charters are small in numbers over a massive area.

'If there are to be commercial fishing reduction, the government needs to ensure compensation for those fishermen. The government ended up spending $250m on compensating for the Representative Areas Plan on the GBR. So, buy their licenses out. There are quite a few commercial fishermen who have already indicated they would be happy to hand them in.'
According to McKenzie, there’s also a case for national pride. 'Here you have the Pew Foundation, a US organisation, telling us how to manage our backyard. Law abiding people are being restricted and the law breakers are having more of an open season.'

He says that all anglers and tourism operators would agree 'Do we need biodiversity protection? Absolutely. But we need to protect them on paper and not ignore them. Marine Zones that are untended indicate to our neighbours to come and have a fish.'

McKenzie advises industry and interested recreational anglers to pay attention to the next round of public consultations coming up in a few months’ time when people will get their say.

Keep an eye on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities at www.environment.gov.au

For more information on AMPTO visit www.ampto.com.au
PredictWind.comWildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar