Sunday, 2 February 2014

Something for NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to remember while making plans to permanently open marine reserves to fishers

Not every recreational fisher is a saint. More than a few are like this..............

Clarence Valley Review 29 January 2014:

Illegally caught Blue Groper that were discovered by fisheries officers, and resulted in a conviction in Maclean Local Court. Pic: courtesy Department of Primary Industries.

Spearing NSW’s official state fish has resulted in fines and professional costs of $3,660 plus additional court costs, after a man was convicted in Maclean Local Court this month for killing six Blue Groper.
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Director of Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said the Blue Groper was made the official state fish emblem of NSW in 1998.
“It is extremely disappointing to see this type of blatant disregard for the rules especially when Blue Groper have been protected from spear fishing for nearly 45 years,” Mr Tritton said....
Anyone witnessing any illegal fishing activity is urged to contact their local fisheries office immediately or to call Fishers Watch on 1800 043 536.


The Sydney Morning Herald 14 January 2014:

More than 200 marine scientists have called on the O'Farrell government to reinstate a ban on recreational fishing in coastal waters with high conservation values.
Last March the government introduced what it said was a temporary lifting of restrictions on shore-based line fishing at beaches and headlands in six marine parks with no-take sanctuaries pending an assessment of the impact.
The scientists, worried that the government may be about to make the "amnesty" permanent, issued a joint-statement calling for the reinstatement of protected zones "in keeping with well-established and proven scientific practice".
NSW has six multiple-use marine parks, including Cape Byron, Solitary Islands, Port Stephens-Great Lakes, Jervis Bay, Batemans Bay and Lord Howe Island. They account for about 7 per cent of NSW's state waters, and extend 3 nautical miles (5.5 kilometres) from shore.
"These are the exact habitats probably being affected the most by recreational fishing," said Will Figueira, a marine ecologist at the University of Sydney, and one of the scientists leading the petition.
Dr Figueira said the public often underestimated the impact of on-shore fishing
"Removing animals is not natural," he said. "When you sum it up, it's a quite large number of animals that are being removed."
The March decision was controversial because it appeared to be linked to winning support from the Shooters and Fishers Party for unrelated bills on public sector wages. Scientists say the decision for a temporary lifting of the ban was also unaccompanied by efforts to establish a baseline to study the impact on eco-systems.......

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