Overturning of mako ban still delayed

As Fisho reported last week the overturning of a contentious fishing ban on mako sharks has been delayed. Despite being tabled for discussion in the Senate as reported last week the issue is still to be debated.

Last week’s story is available here.

This week, National Spokesperson for the Boating and Fishing Council of Australia (BFCA) Dean Logan, stated in a press release that “there is a growing resentment within the recreational fishing and boating sectors toward federal Fisheries Minister Tony Burke, given a broken promise to treat the Mako Shark amendment legislation as a priority.”

Logan argued, “The Government promised our respective sectors that the so called ‘Mako Shark Legislation’ would be a priority however it appears that the Government has done a deal with the Greens to force the legislation down the legislative priority list, in the hope that it is not debated prior to the election.”

“As a result, as of 29 January 2010, it is a Federal offence under Part 13 of the EPBC Act to kill, injure or take either species, even if it is by mistake,” he said.

Fisho reported last week that, a spokesman for Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s office had stated catch & release fishing for makos is not likely to be affected by the Senate delay. He added that no enforcement action will be taken against organisers or participants of tournaments, “provided that appropriate measures are in place to minimise impacts, including promotion of sustainable fishing practices”.

On contacting the Environment Minister’s spokesman yesterday, he reiterated to Fisho that the issue has still to be debated in the Senate for “the reasons previously outlined.” The Federal Government is blaming”obstruction” by the Opposition and stalling tactics by the Greens fordelays in passing the legislation overturning the mako shark fishing ban.

We will keep you posted of further updates.

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