Ex­pert slams fish­ing rule changes

Pilbara News - - News - Kim Mac­don­ald

A marine ex­pert claims the full pro­tec­tion area around Nin­ga­loo and other marine parks would be slashed by more than 40 per cent un­der the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s draft zon­ing, com­pared with a pre­vi­ous plan.

Pro­fes­sor Jes­sica Meeuwig, from the Uni­ver­sity of WA’s School of Bi­o­log­i­cal Sciences, said the Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed re­zon­ing would al­low the con­tin­u­a­tion of mid-wa­ter trawl­ing, long-line fish­ing and recre­ational fish­ing in the sen­si­tive ar­eas.

She said an in­de­pen­dent re­view last year called for 43 per cent more of the sur­round­ing seabed to be given the high­est level of pro­tec­tion.

“The sci­ence is clear, with mul­ti­ple stud­ies show­ing that par­tial pro­tec­tion is as ex­pen­sive as full pro­tec­tion, man­age­ment-wise, but doesn’t gen­er­ate the con­ser­va­tion out­comes,” she said.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg an­nounced last week the pro­posed changes would in­crease the to­tal area of the re­serves open to fish­ing from 64 per cent to 80 per cent.

Rec­fish­west wel­comed the Com­mon­wealth Marine Re­serves net­work plan, say­ing it recog­nised the im­por­tance of fish­ing in WA.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.