Labor dodges questions over lock-out email

THE Labor Senator who recently sent mass emails to anglers extolling the virtues of the Government’s marine park plans has avoided answering questions on why the ALP has sided with extremist green groups in wanting to ban recreational fishing.

Fisho reported on August 5 that WA-based Labor Senator Glenn Sterle sent a mass email “The Facts on Fishing” to anglers around the country. In the email, Senator Sterle said he was a keen angler who likes nothing better “than heading out on the open water and relaxing with mates and a few beers”.

See our original news story HERE.

Fisho contacted Senator Sterle’s office and sent him a detailed list of questions, including asking for scientific data on the proposed bans, asking if he was concerned about the influences of foreign anti-fishing groups such as Pew and seeking his opinions on fears that conservationists were actively lobbying to create more no-fishing areas in Australian waters.

We received the Senator’s responses to our questions on August 8. He did not respond specifically to any of our questions, instead saying he was “proud” of the Government’s “environmental achievements, including the creation of Australia’s marine reserve system”.

Senator Sterle said the Labor Government had “used the best available science, talked to the public over a number of years, made and revised plans based on community consultation when planning the system of new marine reserves.

“The recreational fishing sector has been involved in each stage of consultation, with 138 meetings having been held specifically with recreational fishing organisations or individual recreational fishers. Over 100,000 submissions were also received and considered during development of the management plans,” Senator Sterle said.

While the Senator claimed “the vast majority of the new Commonwealth marine reserves remain open to recreational fishers”, he failed to address concerns by the angling sector that green groups are planning massive new lock-out areas which would see no-fishing zones expanded by up to 400 per cent.

“I think that, while there is some discontent, on the whole recreational fishers will realise that marine reserves do in fact represent a balance between preserving our marine environment and managing our fisheries, while still allowing commercial and recreational fishing in almost all areas,” Senator Sterle said.

See HERE for details of conservation groups’ plans for marine park extensions.

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