AFTA: Aussie recreational fishing families ‘Locked Out Forever!'

by AFTA 
Recreational fishers will be impacted.
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Australia’s 5 million recreational anglers will be locked out of vast areas of Australian oceans and many iconic fishing spots.

Minister Burke’s announcement of the proposed Commonwealth Marine Park Reserve System locks recreational anglers out, without justification.

Commenting on the proposal, spokesperson for the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) Allan Hansard said: 'The Government should rethink the plan to ensure ongoing access to Marine Reserves for Australia’s recreational anglers.

'ARFF acknowledges that the Government has tried to minimize the impact of the Marine Park Reserve System on Australia’s recreational anglers by putting reserves out to sea and changing boundaries.

'However, these examples gloss over the underlying problem that the Government is basing the Marine Park Reserve System on an archaic zoning rule that treats Aussie anglers in the same way it treats industrial scale commercial fishing and oil and gas developments.

'Interestingly the Government has recently approved access to a huge foreign industrial size commercial fishing vessel the likes of which this country has never seen before, yet Mum, Dad and the kids will be ‘banned’ from trying to catch a fish!

'Recreational anglers face being locked out of vast tracts of Australia’s oceans and a number of inshore iconic fishing spots such as Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea, Geographe Bay, Perth Trench and Dampier. There will be significant implications on the coastal communities that support recreational fishing in these areas.

'Aussie anglers are called the bushwalkers of the sea. The decision by Minister Burke is no different to ‘locking bushwalkers out’ of iconic terrestrial National Parks, such as the Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania, Warrumbungle National Park in NSW or Lamington National Park in Queensland. Such decisions should only be taken if there is a sound scientific rationale.

'In almost all cases, there is no scientific justification and there have been no socioeconomic assessment of the impacts of the proposal.

'There is a clear message resonating from Australia’s 5 million recreational anglers, to Government – Don’t Lock Us Out! The Minister can turn this around by reviewing how recreational fishing is classified under the Marine Park zoning rules. We are asking him to do this as a matter of urgency, before he proclaims the Marine Park Reserve System and locks Aussie recreational fishing families out of these areas forever.