by Bob Wonders
The Moreton Bay Access Alliance (MBAA) has condemned a submission from the Underwater Research Group (URG) which seeks to impose a lock out of all other parties from many areas of Moreton Bay.
A spokesman for the MBAA, Bruce Alvey, described the URG as “a small, unrepresentative group within the dive sector.”
“It is backed by the anti-fishing Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), which has proposed a large part of the bay, including shallow reefs and wrecks popular with anglers and divers, be included in green zones to exclude all fishing,” he said.
Mr Alvey described as “disappointing” that the URG was waging a purely political campaign that had nothing to do with science or sustainability.
“The URG is abusing the review process in a cynical attempt to secure exclusive access to areas in the bay for themselves,” he claimed.
“MBAA has conducted independent scientific research into the bay and has worked closely with many key stakeholders to develop a plan to ensure its future sustainability.
“At the same time we have made every effort to ensure the community can continue to enjoy the social and economic benefits it provides to all sectors.
“In an attempt to be as inclusive as possible, the MBAA asked anti-fishing groups like the AMCS to contribute to this important study, however there was no response to the invitation.
“This latest grab for territory explains that,” he added.
Mr Alvey said he understood the peak dive group, the Australian Underwater Federation Queensland, has demanded the AMCS and URG remove any suggestion that it supports their proposals.
“The URG has used the federation’s good name in an attempt to provide legitimacy to a radical, unscientific and emotive submission,” he added.
Powerboat-World was unable to make contact with spokes people for the AMCS and URG in an attempt to cover both sides of the situation.
We will continue to seek their comments.