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'Low impact on marine industries'

CLAIMS that the national marine park plan will cost more than 9000 jobs among commercial and recreational fishers have been over-blown, a report released by the Centre for Policy Development revealed this week.

The report was written by the centre's marine economy fellow Caroline Hoisington.

It said claims that some 9700 fishing jobs could be lost as a result of the plan conflicted with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures indicating there were only 7646 direct jobs in the nation's fishing industry.

"It also claimed that the reserve would cause "$4.35 billion lost revenue" when the total income of commercial fisheries active in the area affected by the reserves is around $1 billion (of which $11.1 million would be displaced)," the report reads.

The report also highlighted that aside from commercial fishing activities, the impact on marine industries was assessed as "very low or non-existent".

It said the Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Science estimated the total value of displaced commercial fishing activities around the nation was about "1.1% of the value of the fish catch from wild fisheries".

"These claims are not credible in light of the detailed and careful assessment conducted by the ABARES for the regulatory impact statement on the new marine reserves," Ms Hoisington wrote.

"The appearance of excessive cost estimates is not surprising, given that such estimates are now a familiar part of the lobbying process."

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