Australia is in the final stage of creating and implementing its National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (NRSMPA) and for Australian anglers this could mean the loss of some of the world’s best fishing grounds.
The proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve will establish more than 194,000 square miles as a no-take zone that prohibits all forms of fishing. In Western Australia, iconic recreational fishing grounds including the Perth Trench and Geographe Bay will be closed to all fishing.
The Billfish Foundation (TBF) is asking all anglers to support the opposition to these closures. It is coming down to the wire, but YOU can help and raise your voice for anglers in Australia!
Environmental groups advocating for the establishment of these marine reserves have misled the general public and diminished the influence of important stakeholders — recreational fishermen. The recreational fishing industry deserves equal representation in the design of marine reserves, especially those affecting fishing access.
It is crucial that anglers worldwide, not just in Australia, are mindful that Australia will set an international precedent, either a responsible one for marine conservation or an overreaching one to please extreme environmentalists. You can do your part!
TBF criticizes the government’s lack of sound scientific data and failure to incorporate socioeconomic assessments of all user groups into the evaluation and design of the marine reserves. Highly respected scientists in Australia, including Dr. Ben Diggles, have voiced strong opposition by arguing that restricting users from such vast areas does not address the more overarching threats of pollution and climate change. Within the proposed closed areas, no evidence thus far justifies that prohibiting anglers from an area will provide added protection for highly migratory species, particularly when they are vulnerable to overfishing from adjacent countries.
If this is not stopped, Australia’s reputation as a “top sportfishing destination” could turn into a “stop sportfishing destination.” Anglers travel from all over the world to fish Australia’s productive fishing grounds and the economics of this should not be ignored! Loss of fishing access could be detrimental to Australian fishing communities!
TBF encourages anglers to raise awareness about the economic and cultural values of the recreational fishing industry in Australia. Anglers must establish the importance of recreational fishing as a vital industry that generates economic benefits and supports fishing related jobs in order to ensure fishing opportunities for future generations.
Tony Abbott and the Australian Marine Alliance have begun to lead the way and take a stand. TBF is asking all anglers to do their part and send Minister Tony Burke, Australian Ministr of the Environment, and tell him that anglers need access so that they can FISH FOREVER!
Austrailia Fishing Closures