Fishos & greenies clash over Sydney squid

NSW Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson will now have to make a call on allowing squid fishing in a popular Sydney Harbour location after a meeting between anglers and conservationists failed to find common ground.

A meeting in Sydney on Tuesday night saw concerned anglers, Fisheries staff, anti-fishing groups and local politicians gather to discuss squid fishing in the North Harbour Aquatic Reserve, which is located between North Head and Dobroyd Head in the northern part of Sydney Harbour.

The area allows line fishing for “fin fish” but bans the taking of invertebrates. Anglers argue that recreational harvest of squid is sustainable and should be allowed in the reserve.

According to sources, the meeting was at times fiery with anglers and conservationists vehemently stating their cases.

According to available data, recreational squid fishing is considered highly sustainable. The main target species, southern calamari, are short lived and highly fecund. Fisho understands that Minister Hodgkinson will be advised that there are no scientific reasons to ban squidding in the North Harbour Aquatic Reserve. We also understand that socio-economic considerations will form part of the Minister’s deliberations.

According to a source at the meeting, one of the anti-fishing particpants, thought to be part of the Eco Divers group, expressed concerns about squid fishers catching “penguins and turtles” on their squid jigs.

We understand this was robustly refuted by the angling representatives in attendance.

At this stage we are unaware of when any decisions relating to squidding in the North Harbour Aquatic Reserve will be made.

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