Starlo fights to ban nets

PROMINENT fishing writer and TV presenter Steve Starling has started a major campaign to ban unsustainable commercial netting in NSW estuary systems.

Starling’s campaign, which follows recent widespread reports of fish dumping and heavy commercial pressure on fragile systems, focuses on pressuring embattled NSW Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson to act immediately by ridding key estuary systems of the haul and mesh nets.

In a letter to the minister, Starling says that “that the intensity and sophistication of this commercial harvesting effort has increased substantially in recent years, and that it has also been concentrated more heavily on specific waterways, especially since the creation of recreational fishing areas (RFAs) and marine park sanctuary zones”.

“Many of us have very serious concerns about the long-term sustainability of this intense commercial harvesting effort,” Starling writes.

“We also believe that there is a widespread (and growing) public perception of serious declines in estuarine and inshore fish stocks as a direct consequence of these highly visible commercial fisheries.”

The decline in coastal fisheries due to unsustainable commercial pressure is negatively impacting on the recreational sector, resulting in economic loss for regional areas as people go interstate or overseas for fishing experiences or take up other hobbies, Starling says.

The long-time fishing media identity, who has faced recent threats over his vocal stance against netting, makes the point that individual commercial operators should not be blamed or disadvantaged because of the recent netting scandals.
However, he has requested that the minister impose an immediate moratorium on netting in certain systems “until the sustainability of such activities can be scientifically assessed”.

See Steve Starling’s full letter to Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson HERE.

Fisho supports the campaign to ban unsustainable commercial netting and urges readers to contact Ms Hodgkinson
(details below) and have your say.

Mailing address:

The Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson, MP
Level 30 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
PH: (02)
(02) 92285969


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