WAFIC Heartened by Marine Reserve Announcement of Federal Government
The Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) welcomed the release of the proposed Commonwealth’s Marine Reserve Network last week.
“We are delighted that the South-west Corner Reserve in deep water will be amended to allow for fishing activities such as pelagic longlining. Whilst there is currently a low level of longline activity the amendments will preserve the important issue of prospectivity in these waters for future sustainable fishing.” WAFIC CEO John Harrison said.
“It will also assist in the practical operations of longlining in that lines that drift into these zones will be permitted.”
“In addition, the zoning proposed for part of the Bremer Bay Reserve will allow existing scallop trawling to continue which is very pleasing and testament of the very low impact scallop trawling has over soft bed sediment.”
“Thirdly, changing the sanctuary zones within the Geographe Reserve to habitat protection zones does make for some future prospect for fishing methods like purse seining in those two zones to be permitted.”
“Generally, the zones proposed off WA will have limited impact on the commercial fishing industry and we are pleased that we were successful in negotiating these outcomes. This is a result of the Federal Government, particularly Minister Anne Ruston, listening to and understanding the needs of the commercial fishing industry, particularly about prospectivity” he said.
“Where there are impacts we encourage the Government to provide fair and reasonable compensation to enable affected commercial fishers to adjust their operations. Alternatively, we may seek some further fine tuning in limited areas.”
“Today marks the culmination of a decade plus of exhaustive discussions and negotiations over the design of the Commonwealth’s Marine Reserve Network. The hard work of turning this plan into a practical reality will now begin” Mr Harrison concluded.
For your Information
North-West Marine Parks Network