The Game Fishing Association of Australia has responded to next month’s shark fishing ban, releasing a statement outlining its strong opposition to the controversial development.
According to GFAA president Grahame Williams, the association had only recently been contacted by DEWHA (Department ofthe Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts) to be advised that theshark ban listing would be applicable by the end of January 2010.
In the statement Williams says that the “GFAA has responded tothe Department giving the history and details of the gamefishing catch& release for mako sharks and estimates on mortality and has putforward a case that stopping gamefishers from catching makos will haveno beneficial benefit to the stocks unless all other fishers(commercials) are also banned from taking makos. In fact the Australianlongline fleet in the ET&BF is estimated to kill 3,500 to 4,000short fin makos per year”.
He added “Many other nations in the Western and Central Pacific are not signatories to the CMS nor do they have draconian EPBC Acts therefore they will still continue to take as many makos as they like”.
The GFAA has requested exemption from the ban under provisions of Part 13 of the EPBC Act under s303A of the Act which states, “The Minister may specify that any or all prohibitions in Part 13 do not apply to a person in relation to an action to which an exemption relates. However, the Minister may only grant an exemption under s303A if satisfied that it is in the national interest to do so.”