Animal rights groups come after game fishing

AN international animal rights organisation has prepared a nomination to list game fishing in Australian waters as a key threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Humane Society International, which is linked with the extremist PETA group, claims game fishing is having a significant impact on fish stocks in Australian waters through the removal of large predatory fish, which can lead to “trophic cascades and potential ecological collapse of marine ecosystems”.

Making its argument for the nomination, HSI said: “Catch & release fishing is no longer thought to be as beneficial for the conservation of fish stocks.”

The group did not specify any scientific basis for its claims.

HSI said it’s most concerned with the catch & release mortality rate of sharks and mentioned hammerhead, thresher and mako sharks in a bulletin about the nomination.

Fisho understands listing KTPs under the EPBC is relatively difficult to achieve, although there are concerns a lack of data on any impacts of game fishing could potentially result in the HSI nomination getting a “foothold”, even if there are no fisheries management concerns about game fish species in Australian waters.

Fisho also understands that recreational fishing organisations, including the Game Fishing Association of Australia, are working to ensure the HSI bid fails.

We’ll publish more information on this important issue as soon as it becomes available.

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