Rex Hunt fronts WA Keep Fishing Australia rally

REX Hunt was the keynote speaker as hundreds of West Australian fishers rallied against angler lockouts in Perth yesterday.

The Keep Australia Fishing Rally attracted around 400 people, and around 80 boats to Langley Park, in the heart of the city’s CBD.

Many of the cars towing boats travelled in convoy from meeting points around Perth, passing Parliament House on their way into the city.

Those who attended launched a “don’t lock us out” chant that echoed through the city streets and heard a very passionate Hunt urge all anglers to fight for their rights.

“We thought this day would never come … this is a real threat to our lifestyle,” Hunt said.

“I’ve only had 55 years on the water, what I am finding now is people in Canberra who have never been fishing are telling me what is wrong with the fishery and telling us that we are environmental vandals.

“It has to stop and it has to stop now.”

Former Olympian Emma George became quite emotional as she spoke about what fishing means to her family, and how her three children have learned to treasure their natural environment through their fishing experiences.

Recfishwest chief executive officer Dr Andrew Rowland said there was no scientific justification for anglers lockouts, while Western Angler writer and qualified marine biologist Jamie Chester said people were being duped by unproven science and “barbed wire green policy”.

“When we start getting locked out of places like the Rottnest Trench in order to protect pygmy blue whales while the shipping lanes stay open and the navy keeps its access then something is wrong,” Chester said.

“All this is happening while our government allows super trawler factory ships access to our waters and lets our vital rivers and nurseries fester.”

Anglers have until September 10 to register their disapproval at and they need to enter at least one line of their own text to make their submissions count.

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