Fishing party slams Green claims

The Queensland-based Australian Fishing & Lifestyle Party has slammed Greens Party leader Bob Brown’s recent claims that several common recreational fishing targets are becoming endangered. Brown was reported as saying this week, “We have lost 90 per cent of the great fishes including marlin, tuna and snapper.”

In a media release the AFLP says Brown is being highly irresponsible and misleading to voters in the run up to the federal election.

“There is no foundation for these claims in Australia – there is simply no credible science to support these statements and Bob Brown needs to realise that he is out his depth and ignorant of the facts when he talks about marine matters”, says Senate candidate for the Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party, Keith Douglas.

“Commercial and recreational fishermen have had a gutful of the lies and misinformation being espoused for nothing more than political grandstanding.

“Tuna fishermen off NSW have had their best ever catches this year as have prawners off Mooloolaba. The Cairns heavy tackle game fishing industry has had its best season ever,” said Douglas.

“Brown talks about these Marine Parks being the nurseries for our fish – this is the case with the Great Barrier Reef but many of the areas under consideration do not have coral reefs so it is misleading to say that Marine Parks are fish nurseries. The estuaries are important nursery areas for snapper and there are serious concerns emerging that sewage wastewater is causing problems with food sources and juvenile fish. Inshore food chain collapse is the biggest threat to snapper breeding and the most likely cause of recruitment failures near populated areas. Marine Parks won’t fix this. These are land-based problems.”

“Australian anglers instigated the now globally adopted ‘tag and release’ programs for fish. Our own fishermen, and not the Greens or Garrett, are leading the world in protecting our fish stocks.

“Bob Brown’s claims are not supported by credible science; in fact, the so-called science the Greens are basing their alarmist claims on has been completely discredited.” added Douglas.

Fishing writer John Mondora vehemently disputes Brown’s claims: “There are as many marlin out there now as there were forty years ago”.

Game fish charter operator Daniel McCarthy backs Mondora’s claim up: “Bob Brown, as usual, is running-off at the mouth without a shred of serious scientific evidence. The Coral Sea black and blue marlin fishery remains the envy of the global game fishing industry, specifically because our marlin are so plentiful”.

Last weekend the Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Part organised a successful convoy of cars and trailered fishing boats from Gympie, with the aim of protesting the expansion of marine parks on the Great Barrier Reef and the Fraser Coast.

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Speakers who spoke at the 200-strong convoy’s final destination at Clontarf included: Barry Pollock (Sunfish); Keith Douglas (Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party); Senator Ron Boswell; Michael Gardiner (Qld Seafood Industry Association); Martin Bowerman (media); Bruce Alvey (Alvey Reels); Peter Todd (Tin Can Bay Chamber of Commerce); Dave “Nugget” Downie (Radio station 4BC).

Speeches from all speakers can be found on youtube. See news footage of the convoy and Bob Brown speaking on Channel Nine below.

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