MANY in local recreational fishing circles may have scoffed at suggestions late last year by US charity-based organisation PEW, that fishing closures should apply to a vast tract of Australia’s Coral Sea.
Since the issue was publicised late in 2008 the issue has gathered momentum with the Pew Environment Group pushing ahead with its proposal for a Coral Sea Heritage Park.
If successful this bid would see the forming of a large highly protected (specifically no fishing) zone stretching between the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and outer edge of Australia’s EEZ – encompassing Boot Reef in the north and Cato Island in the south (see map below).
The PEW Environment Group claims to have built a collaboration of groups in support of a no-take Coral Sea Heritage Park.
These support groups are claimed to include: prominent tropical marine and protected area scientists, former state Premiers, two former Chiefs of the Royal Australian Navy, the Battle for Australia Commemoration National Council in recognition of the area’s historic heritage, the Australian National Maritime Museum, and many key conservation groups including the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, the Humane Society International and the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre have engaged campaigners to work in SEQ and the North Queensland region. The Australian Conservation Foundation is claiming to have lobbying capacity for the Coral Sea campaign.
The proposal has also received over 30 print stories in the international media, including the New York Times, Washington Times, and Guardian UK.
View PDF of submission here: Coral Sea final submission.
To voice your concern about this proposal a public meeting is to be held by the Mission Beach Game Fishing Club on April 29 at Cairns High School from 7pm.
For further information contact 0427 026 490.