Sunfish Fraser Coast has been working with the regions’ rec fishing community in relation to assessment of the Fraser region under the Federal Government’s Marine Bioregional Planning process. Under the plan, recreational fishing access looks to be restricted in Commonwealth waters (3 nautical miles from the coast) in five Marine Bioregional Planning Regions around the coastline – the East, South-east, North, North-west and South-west Regions.
The Fraser coast is part of the East Marine Region which encompasses the Tweed, Clarence, Hunter, Tasmantid-Lord Howe Island, Norfolk and Batemans areas – all areas up for further assessment.
Several public meetings have been held on the Fraser Coast and consultation undertaken with various stakeholder groups including the Tin Can Bay Fishing Club, Queensland Seafood Industry Association, Marine Queensland, the Rainbow Beach Chamber of Commerce, Tin Can Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce.
In a Sunfish Fraser Coast press release, Chairman Scott Mitchell states:
- Sunfish Fraser Coast does not support any restriction to recreational angling access west of the 200-metre depth line (just beyond the continental shelf). This area is of significant importance to the recreational angling community and all of the businesses that rely upon them.
- Recreational fishing has been determined to have negligible or no impact on most habitats (low on tropical reefs and temperate corals and sponges). Recreational fishing has also been determined to have negligible or no impact on most species (medium or deepwater demersals).
- Sunfish Fraser Coast believes this proposal has the potential to substantially restrict an important & valuable recreational fishery. If access is reduced in the proposed area it will have a profound impact on the local economies in the surrounding communities that rely heavily of recreational angling. This will affect not only the large proportion of local anglers – but also those who travel from all over the state and in many cases interstate to fish this important region.
- Recreational fishing in the proposed area contributes significant economic and social value to the surrounding communities of Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay, Poona, Tuan, Boonooroo, Hervey Bay and the flow on effect to other centres by way of bait and tackle suppliers, fuel, groceries, general supply industry, accommodation, real estate, tourism etc.
For more information on assessment of the Fraser Coast and other regions in the East Marine Region click HERE.