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Colbeck slams Pew over oceans report

The Coalition’s fisheries spokesman, Senator Richard Colbeck, has criticised a report into Australia’s oceans commissioned by the Pew environment group and conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland. The report, titled Systematic Conservation Planning – A Network of Marine Sanctuaries for the South West Marine Region, was released today.

“The Pew group from the USA – and worth billions of dollars – will stop at nothing to stop Australians from fishing,” said Colbeck.

“The Pew group and other fringe environmental groups fail to recognise Australia already has some of the toughest fisheries management regimes in the world. And the latest fishery status report released by the Government shows fish stocks becoming healthier.

“Simply locking up massive swathes of Australia’s waters is a simplistic and irresponsible action. And just because the Pew group says so does not mean it should be so.

“I am disappointed the researchers at the University of Queensland have seen fit to align themselves to such an irresponsible campaign.

“Any formation of marine protected areas must be done in full consultation with those who will be affected the most. That includes coastal communities, the commercial and recreational fishing sectors and businesses reliant on the trade of the fishing industry.

“These people not only understand the impact of the introduction of marine lock-ups, but also can provide advice on how to best manage fish stocks and their sustainability, said Colbeck.

To read the University of Queensland’s report click here.

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