Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser.
Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser.

Anglers are gutted by Govt review

IT was a body blow and one that has gutted the commercial fishing industry.

That’s how the Professional Fishermen’s Association (PFA) saw news of the State Government’s review of the Solitary Island Marine Park.

“The commercial fishing industry has been through so many hoops that it defies logic there are still people and groups that want more blood and heartache and wish to destroy small family businesses,” PFA CEO John Harrison said.

“Ministers Sartor and Whan are now clearly laying the platform for the March 2011 election – they want green votes – at the expense of the commercial fishing industry. This decision is political as there is no scientific justification for these additional closures.”

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser agreed the proposal could spell the demise of the commercial fishing industry in Coffs Harbour.

“The decision to ban prawn trawling in the Marine Reserve cannot be supported by any scientific evidence as prawn trawling is done in areas where there are no reefs because reefs will damage fishing nets worth thousands of dollars,” Mr Fraser said.

He said an increased of sanctuary zones to 20 per cent in the marine park would also hurt recreational anglers.

“This will mean that fishing competitions such as the Easter Classic could disappear altogether because if you can’t fish where the fish are, you can’t catch any fish and therefore, you can’t have a competition,” Mr Fraser said.



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