MP launches fishing petition
FEDERAL Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker yesterday launched a petition that he hopes will ‘lead Rudd and Garrett in what the community wants’ in their decisions concerning recreational and commercial fishing in the recently identified marine Area for Further Assessment in the Clarence.
The area makes up 14,061 square kilometres of the 2.4 million square kilometres identified for further assessment, from the Torres Strait to Southern NSW.
According to Clarence professional fishermen, the proposal may impact on the incomes of the 50 or 60 trawler operators who drop line, trap and trawl up to 100 fathoms off our coastline.
Mr Hartsuyker’s petition will be presented to the Federal Government and addresses the areas of further assessment.
The MP said, however, the State Government’s proposal to ‘reduce the impacts of commercial fishing activities through a total prohibition on prawn trawling within two years’ and ‘improve protection for key habitats by increasing the area of sanctuary zone in the park from 12 to 20 per cent’ would impact on the outcomes of the Federal Government’s research into reserves.
Professional Fishermen’s Association representative John Harrison said: “I can guarantee that there will be areas of no-take zones included in this area for further assessment.”
Mr Hartsuyker said that if the public did not have a say now, it would be far more difficult for community involvement in the consultation process.
“It is naive to think that this is not a push for more exclusion zones,” he said.