Merimbula netting proposal slammed

REFORMS to commercial fishing in NSW that propose the reintroduction of netting in several of the state’s estuaries have been slammed by NSW Treasurer and member for Bega, Andrew Constance.

Constance has labelled the DPI’s proposals that include netting in Merimbula Lake as “ludicrous and clumsy”. (More on DPI’s proposed reforms HERE).

According to the Narooma News Constance said, “I am dead set against this. I raised this with the Minister (Katrina Hodgkinson, Minister of Primary Industries) yesterday (Thursday, May 8).”

“There has been a lack of foresight into how the community would react. This is ludicrous and clumsy and I want this killed. For Merimbula Lake it needs to be ruled out straightaway,” Mr Constance said.

Constance was in Merimbula speaking with protesters of the netting proposals, and will be presenting around 2500 petition signatures to Ms Hodgkinson in NSW Parliament.

Mr Constance said: “There has to be a balance struck but the bottom line is no one wants to see netting in Merimbula Lake. The DPI has stirred every one up unnecessarily.”

Fisho contacted minister Hodgkinson’s office for comment on the neetting of Merimbula Lake and received the following:

“No decisions have been made in relation to the industry proposal to allow commercial netting in Merimbula Lake – or any of the other options currently out for public consultation as part of the Commercial Fisheries Reform Program.

“Last week I extended the deadline for submissions on this public consultation period to 5pm Friday, 30 May.

“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is engaging in genuine consultation about the Commercial Fisheries Reform Program with commercial and recreational fishers, and other interested members of the community, which is why we are undertaking an extensive consultation process.

“Before any key decisions are made, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will comprehensively study the range of views put forward during the consultation process, in order to make these options as fair as possible.

“It is important that fishers use this period to advise how they believe the options could be best modified so I strongly urge them to carefully examine the options papers and make a submission.

“At the completion of the consultation process the NSW Government will thoroughly consider the submissions, input from key stakeholder groups and advice from the DPI and an independent Structural Adjustment Review Committee.

“The options papers and further information about the Commercial Fisheries Reform Program can be found at”

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