Australian fishers unite to support Commonwealth Marine Park management plans

Australia’s peak national fishing bodies have joined forces in support of the Coalition Government’s Commonwealth Marine Park management plan.

AUSTRALIA’S peak national fishing bodies have joined forces in support of the Coalition Government’s Commonwealth Marine Park management plans, and as five disallowance motions loom, the group’s have asked the Senate Crossbenchers to again vote in support of the plans.

In a historic first, Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) and Game Fishing Association of Australia (GFAA) have united to promote the plans. The group’s say the plans achieve an acceptable balance between sustainability and the right of Australian’s to catch fish, eat fish and make a living from the ocean.

Collectively, all of the representative bodies support and endorse the Marine Parks management plan, which were endorsed by the Senate in March. As Labor and the Greens move forward with five disallowance motions, one for each park, the groups have again rallied together to ask the Senate Crossbenchers uphold their original position and vote in support of these plans.

“The current plans recognise the conservation, social and economic importance of this vital part of the Commonwealth estate, and united we ask the Senate crossbench to uphold their original votes,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.

“It’s taken the threat of broad loss of access to fishing areas to bring the commercial and recreational sides of fishing together,” AFTA president Colin Tannahill from Shimano Australia said.

“Our oceans are a shared resource – for professional, recreational and indigenous fishers, the community and the environment.”

“The commercial industry provides over a billion meals to Australian families each year,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.

“These plans will secure the livelihood of Australia’s 11,000 commercial fishers and the thousands more employed downstream in post-harvest and retail sectors. This is about the right for Australians to fish and to eat Australian seafood from now and into the future.”

“State governments have recognized the benefits of recreational fishing as an important leisure activity with health, social and economic value to the community,” GFAA president Doug Sanderson said.

“Many individuals are totally reliant on it for their livelihood and more than 5 million recreational fishers currently enjoy our oceans.”

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