Greens hold up super trawler bill

THE Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) has called on all political parties to pass the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Declared Fishing Activities) Bill 2012 without delay.

ARFF supports constructive debate in the Senate on this Bill but is concerned that the Australian Greens are politicising the issue.

“We are particularly concerned that the Greens are not assisting in getting this Bill through. ARFF Director, Allan Hansard said today.

‘The Greens sought the support from thousands of anglers to help stop the super trawler. They voted for the Bill in the Lower House and now we see them dragging their feet in the Senate. Now is not the time for political game playing. Anglers and other concerned Australians want this trawler stopped.

“We ask all political parties to get on with the job, pass the legislation and send the super trawler packing.”

On a separate but related issue, ARFF congratulated the efforts of environmentally aware recreational fishers in leading the way on the super trawler issue. Allan Hansard said “What recreational fishers from around Australia did here was to stand up for our marine environment. Australian recreational fishermen and their families are the stewards of our seas and rivers.

“Our actions over the super trawler demonstrate the deep commitment we have to ensuring sustainable use of oceanic resources.

“We would now like to see the Greens and the various environment groups recognise the important role that the recreational fishing community can and does play in regards to marine conservation.

“For too long, extremist elements of the environment movement have tried to tar recreational fishers with the same brush as the industrial fishing sector. The super trawler issue has changed all that. The environmentalists now need to demonstrate that they support sustainable recreational fishing.

“The Greens were more than happy to let Aussie anglers do the heavy lifting as far as the super trawler was concerned. Will they now return the favour and help develop a truly sustainable, transparent and inclusive Federal Marine Conservation System?”

The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) is the newly formed national peak body representing Australia’s Recreational Fishing Community and is supported by the Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), Recfish Australia, Game Fishing Association Australia (GFAA), Sunfish Queensland, Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT), Recfishwest, Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFANSW), Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association (USFA), Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA), Professional Fishing Instructors and Guides Association (PFIGA), Victorian Recreational Fishing (VRFish), and Australian Underwater Federation (AUF).

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