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Southern Spars - North Technology

Marine Park plan provides zero conservation benefits in WA

by ReFish West on 14 Jun 2012
Dr Andrew Roland spokesman for Recfishwest Recfishwest recfishwest.org.au
Recfishwest is disappointed the Federal Government has met the demands of foreign-funded conservation groups while locking Western Australian fishing families out of the water following today’s announcement of its Commonwealth Marine Park plan.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has essentially locked WA’s 650,000 recreational fishers out of vast areas and many iconic fishing spots without any scientific justification.

Recfishwest chief executive officer Andrew Rowland is asking Mr Burke to seriously reconsider the plan in the context of marine reserves for WA’s recreational fishers.

'Where is the science that says iconic fishing areas like Geographe Bay, the Rottnest Trench and Dampier need to be out of bounds to recreational fishing,' Dr Rowland said.

'The detriment to the recreational fishing sector will be huge and for what conservation benefits?'

Recfishwest supports marine parks provided they are based on science and logic and free from any politics.

Dr Rowland questioned the Federal Government’s logic in wanting to impose lock outs on fishing families in the same week it opened the door for a foreign operated super trawler to fish waters off the WA coast.

'Surely this wouldn’t be the case if the government is serious about conserving our marine environment.'
Dr Rowland urged Mr Burke to turn this outcome around by reviewing how recreational fishing was classified under Marine Park zoning rules.

'We are asking Mr Burke to perform this review as a matter of urgency before he proclaims the Marine Park reserve system and locks WA recreational fishing families out of these areas forever just to keep foreign-funded conservation groups happy.'

More at recfishwest.org.au and facebook.com/recfishwest
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