Expert: care needed when trawling

SUSTAINABILITY of prawn trawling the Solitary Island Marine Parks largely depends on its geographical make-up, according to a leading expert.

Flinders University’s Professor Peter Fairweather, who recently chaired a review into aquatic reserves for the NSW Marine Parks Authority, said prawn trawling could be detrimental to parks with life-filled ocean floors.

“Depending on the type of bottom in the marine park, the physical impact on the park could be fairly significant,” Prof Fairweather said.

“Things living on the surface of the ocean floor can be disturbed and kicked up.

“Very sandy oceans floors are obviously good to prawn trawl because you’re not disturbing things living in the surface – and it’s also beneficial to fishermen because they don’t lose nets on sponges and corals and things.”

He said finding a happy medium between commercial needs and biodiversity was crucial.

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