Fishing fleet alarmed to illegal fishing in reserves
COMMERCIAL fishing fleets on the Coffs Coast will be able to use an alert service that notifies by text message when vessels enter marine reserves.
The Commonwealth Marine Reserves alert system has been developed by Parks Australia in partnership with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the fishing industry.
The service is designed to stop accidental breaking of fishing rules in marine reserves including the Temperate East network off Coffs Harbour.
The service has been successfully trialled since July by fishers in the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network including the coasts of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
To date, there have been at least three incidents where a vessel has received an alert that resulted in a change of fishing activity, thereby saving many thousands of dollars in legal action, reducing costs to fishers, and protecting marine reserve values.