Marine Parks proclaimed – “Tell us why Tony” asks ARFF

THE Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF), the national peak body representing Australia’s recreational fishing community has asked the Environment Minister, Tony Burke, why his Marine Park Plan is locking Aussie recreational fishers out of 1.3 million square kilometres of Australian seas without a reason.

Director Allan Hansard said today “Australia’s 5 million recreational fishers applaud good science based conservation measures that protects our marine environment for future generations. However, the Government’s Marine Park Plan lacks scientific reasoning and no explanation why Aussie recreational fishers are banned from Marine Parks.

“What does Mum, Dad and the kids fishing in a tinnie do to the environment that warrants them being locked out of vast areas of Australian waters, whether the Marine Parks are 5 or 500 kilometres from a boat ramp?

“The Government has not differentiated between a family fishing in a tinnie and an industrial scale super trawler. The Government is discriminating against recreational fishers by allowing divers, tourist operators, container ships and even defence force activities into Marine Parks but banning Aussie fishing families from catching a fish. This does not make sense and the Government has not provided any rational explanation.

“Though the Aussie recreational fishing community is the largest stakeholder affected by the ‘lock out’ Marine Park Plan we are the biggest losers as we are not only locked out FOREVER of some of Australia’s iconic fishing spots, like Perth Trench, Geographe Bay and reefs in the Coral Sea, but we are not being compensated for it.

“There is a tax payer compensation package for affected commercial fishers, but who is compensating the affected recreational fisher or charter boat operators, what about the corner shop that sells fishing gear and bait! Do we have the right balance Minister?”

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