Fishos reject proposed ban

A PLAN to ban all commercial and some recreational fishing from Iluka to Evans Head has been released by the National Parks Association (NPA).

The plan, known as The Torn Blue Fringe, aims to immediately conserve and protect the Australian coastline and marine life.

It also includes a long-term aim of conservation and to increase numbers, length and size of marine life in the area.

A direct ban of all fishing, be it recreational or commercial, on 170km of the Clarence River will result if the plan is successful.

A further ban of all commercial fishing in the Clarence Broadwater, Clarence Estuary, Wooleweyah Lagoon and 272.5km of the Clarence River is also the intention of the plan.

Clarence Fishing representative John Harrison, however, refers to this proposal as a 'wish list'.

“If it did go through, based upon the recommendation, the government might as well kiss the local fishing industry goodbye,” Mr Harrison said.

Mr Harrison also voiced his concerns about the local economy if the industry did fail, as it is a viable industry in the Clarence.

“Not one species of fish on the planet has been made extinct by commercial fishing,” he said.

“If the government wants to spend money on conserving and sustaining the marine life, they should invest in the wetlands, as this proposal is a mindless costly exercise and will not deliver any benefits to the marine life in the near future or long term,” Mr Harrison said.

Mr Harrison has written to the Deputy Premier, requesting that all commercial fishermen in the areas affected by the plan be offered fair compensation if the proposal goes ahead.

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