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Recreational divers concerned over return of fishing in NSW marine parks

Recreational divers concerned over return of fishing in NSW marine parks
February 23, 2014

The Dive Industry Association of Australia and dive businesses in NSW are voicing their concerns about NSW Government plans to reintroduce fishing from the shore in the State's marine sanctuaries.

Highlighting scientific that 'no-take' marine sanctuary zones play a vital role in maintaining the health along the Australian coast, Dive Centre Manly owner Richard Nicholls explains that marine sanctuaries "protect special feeding and breeding areas and allow marine life to recover and rebuild (and) they also protect some of our state's best dive sites.

"With sanctuaries protecting just 7% of our state waters, we're not seeking anything more than a fair go for scuba diving and our magnificent marine life that keeps drawing us back.

"We support all legitimate users of our marine environment and believe a balance is necessary to ensure activities such as fishing, conservation and diving get to access areas that cater for their needs."

Nicholls has also written to NSW Treasurer and Manly member Mike Baird, stating "as one of 400,000 scuba divers in NSW, I am deeply concerned that the O'Farrell Government may be about to jeopardise the future and enjoyment of my sport by reducing protection for our marine life and opening marine sanctuary zones to fishing.

"I understand that your Government may soon decide to reduce even this small amount of protection by allowing recreational fishing from the shore in protected sanctuaries. Such a move is bound to result in less fish, less diversity of marine life, and a poorer experience for scuba divers who invest considerable time and money in the dive industry and regional economies.

"Recreational fishers already have access to 93% of our waters which abundantly caters for their needs.

"As a diver I urge you to ensure that the government also provides for my recreational needs by guaranteeing my rights to access areas still in their natural state.

"I ask that you do whatever is necessary to ensure that your Government maintains the current levels of protection for marine life and works to secure the future of scuba diving for myself and the 400,000 other certified divers in NSW."

1st February 2014 - UN RESOLUTION RECOGNISES ECOTOURISM AS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

16th January 2014 - NSW PREMIER URGED TO EXCLUDE FISHING IN MARINE PARKS

22nd August 2013 - CONSERVATION AND TOURISM NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE IN VICTORIA’S NATIONAL PARKS

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


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