Fishing issues get mainstream coverage

CONTROVERSY over the federal Government’s plans to lock recreational anglers out of vast swathes of Australian waters has resulted in unprecedented coverage in the mainstream media.

A page 7 report in the influencial national broadsheet The Weekend Australian titled “Libs angle for a catch as fisher fury grows” detailed the electoral and economic might of the five-million-strong recreational fishing sector.

The report signalled angler anger over laws that will ban recreational fishing in 1.3 million square kilometres of ocean could see a big fishing vote swing towards the federal Coalition at the September 14 election.

The report quoted Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt as saying the lock-out threat was a “way of life issue”.

“The rec fishing community is not exactly as radical group. They love the environment … and now they’re facing the threat of lockouts in numerous areas.”

Mr Hunt criticised Environment Minister Tony Burke’s handling of the marine parks issue. “There hasn’t been consultation or a science-based process,” he is quoted as saying. “What could and should have been a very collaborative process has been one that’s aimed at the parliamentary Greens. That’s my judgement.”

In a rare move for the mainstream media, The Weekend Australian report covered in detail rec fishing concerns about the Government’s marine parks policy. The report highlighted rec fishing as a “wholly sustainable practice” and made the point that recreational fishing is “distinct” from the commercial sector.

The report also revealed the economic strength of the rec sector, estimated at $10 billion annually.

A successful rally held in Torquay yesterday, which was attended by Greg Hunt and Opposition fisheries spokesman Richard Colbeck, was also detailed in the report.

See article on the rally and the announcement by Greg Hunt of the Opposition’s plan to disallow the marine parks legislation HERE.

The International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) is also supporting Aussie anglers in our fight against unfair marine park lockouts. The latest IFGA e-newsletter, published on June 1 and sent to more than 20,000 members around the world, featured the Keep Australia Fishing (KAF) marine parks info video starring well-known angler Lee Rayner and respected marine biologist Dr Julian Pepperell.

A snapshot of this month’s IGFA newsletter.

The video, produced by KAF in response to misleading information released by anti-fishing groups, highlights anglers’ commitment to the environment and condemns the Government’s lock out agenda as being “a very blunt instrument”.

See the KAF video HERE

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