Dive groups push for Sydney marine park

AN ABC news report over the weekend raised concerns about the health of Sydney Harbour with divers and one marine scientist advocating rec fishing closures.  

According to the report, divers conducted 45 surveys at 25 sites as part of the Sydney Reef Life Survey. As a result, there are calls to trial further marine sanctuaries in Sydney Harbour.

“We did all the way from Barrenjoey all the way down to Cronulla,” John Turnbull, from the Underwater Research Group told the ABC.

“Sydney has incredible diversity, so lots and lots of species. But a lot of those species aren’t able to grow up. They get caught before they grow to full size,” he said.

Professor Emma Johnston from the University of New South Wales told the ABC there was evidence indicating a “huge” impact on the communities of fish.

“It was only the fully-protected sites that had seven times the abundance of large fish, and three times the diversity,” she told the ABC.

“And that includes species such as Leatherjacket, Luderick, and Blue Gropers, for example.”

Local anglers refute the claims with most people experiencing an abundance of fish.

Professional guide Justin Duggan told Fisho stocks of fish in Sydney Harbour have never been better and claims by vested interest dive groups show bias which isn’t back by real science.

I can say with 100 per cent certainty that Sydney Harbour fishing has improved exponentially over the past decade to the point that Sydney is now a shining beacon to other fisheries around the world,” said Duggan.

“When you have vested interest groups such as divers running ‘scientific’ surveys such as this, the chances of confirmation bias is 100 per cent,” he said.

Check out the video below which highlights the amazing fishing on offer in Sydney Harbour and the health of its fishery.


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