The Fishing Industry who Cried Wolf

Since the announcement of the new commonwealth marine parks for Australia the fishing industry has been desperate to throw mud.  In doing so, they’ve been caught out with the Government releasing the actual impact analysis for the fishing industry.

A far cry from the $4b claims made by some, the total impact of the network will be about $30m, and this is concentrated where fishing is occuring in some of the most important feeding and breeding areas for marine life.

You can see for yourself in the Government’s regulatory impact statement http://ris.finance.gov.au/2012/06/22/completing-the-commonwealth-marine-reserves-network-regulation-impact-statement-department-of-sustainability-environment-water-population-and-communities/

No one is denying there will be an impact on some fishermen when we create new marine sanctuaries, but the hysterical overreaction we have seen from the fishing industry to what is a relatively small impact won’t help them in the future with other issues they face that have much more serious consequences.

The industry is facing real problems, as evidenced by a 30% decline in the last decade.  This is due to a range of issues, but primarily restructuring of the industry (shrinking of the fleet) to address overfishing problems.

The majority of people want both a sustainable fishing industry and marine sanctuaries.  The industry should be taking confidence from that and open the doors to work towards that outcome rather than rejecting the need for change.

More information on this is available on the Conservation Council of WA blog http://ccwa.org.au/blogs/fishermen-deep-end-over-misleading-claims

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