Liberals promise review of “no fishing” zones

WITH public consultation on the final draft plans for South Australia’s marine parks drawing to a close, the state’s Opposition says it will review proposed “no-take” zones – if it wins government in 2014. But the Adelaide Advertiser has reported the SA Liberal party won’t guarantee the proportion of no fishing zones would be reduced as a result.

Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond and environment spokesman Steven Marshall are expected to announce the Liberals’ marine parks policy today.

Parliament passed laws in 2007 to create marine parks in SA waters but the detail is still being developed. The State Government proposed to establish 19 parks, including “no-take” zones which would close off 6 per cent of waters to fishing.

The marine parks plan has met with sustained opposition from both anglers and commercial fishers concerned about the economic impact of the proposed no-take zones.

Environment groups have welcomed the plans.

Mr Marshall said the Liberal party was committed to introducing marine parks but did not support the current “no-take”, or sanctuary zone, boundaries.

He said the Government’s zoning methodology was “flawed”.

“We will be doing a risk-based review of the sanctuary zones so that we don’t harm sustainable regional employment and recreational and commercial fishing,” Mr Marshall said.

Public consultation on the marine parks’ final draft plans closes on Monday.

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