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NSW Premier urged to exclude fishing in marine parks

NSW Premier urged to exclude fishing in marine parks
January 16, 2014

Hundreds of marine scientists are urging the New South Wales government to avoid taking a "backwards step" by allowing fishing in once-protected marine parks.

A petition, signed by 222 scientists from Australia and abroad, asks NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to keep sanctuary zones free from fishing.

Sanctuary zones are areas within marine parks where fishing have been off-limits.

In March 2013, the NSW Government decided to temporarily allow recreational fishing in these zones as part of an overhaul of the way marine parks are managed.

Dr Will Figueira, President of the NSW branch of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, said that decision was not based on scientific research and was made without consultation.

Dr Figueira told AAP "it was a little disheartening and a little frustrating.

"Choosing to allow fishing in no-take zones definitely goes against the advice from the broader scientific community.

"If you want to have natural areas, you need to stop extracting from those areas."

Dr Figueira believes a NSW Government decision to revoke sanctuary zones and permanently allow fishing is imminent, but hopes O'Farrell will heed the petition's warnings.

The Greens' NSW fisheries spokesman, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, said the NSW Government should listen to scientists rather than its "grubby political deals" with the Shooters and Fishers party, which the Greens have accused of striking a deal with the Coalition over public sector wages laws. 

23rd April 2012 - NEW MARINE PARK TO PROTECT KIMBERLEY COAST 

28th March 2012 - NO FISHING ZONES CENTRAL TO WA MARINE PARK PLAN

18th June 2011 - FEARS FOR NSW MARINE LIFE AS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SCRAPPED

2nd October 2010 - $20 MILLION BOOST FOR CONSERVATION AND NATURE-BASED TOURISM IN WA


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