Commercial fishermen who operate in Camden Sound, about 300 kilometres north-east of Broome, could be forced out as the Western Australian Government turns the area into a marine park.
Plans for the Camden Sound Marine Park were announced last week, with the area designed to protect calving humpback whales. Some commercial fishing will be phased out, with 23 per cent of the park closed to all fishing and 48 per cent closed to trawling.
Camden Sound Marine Park covers approximately 7,062 square kilometres, which will make it the second largest marine park in Western Australia behind Shark Bay.
Chief of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council, Guy Leyland, says it's disappointing that commercial prawn, mackerel and barramundi fishing will be affected.
'Under the plan, they'll be banned from operating in those areas they've fished in for many years and have happily coexisted with the various conservation values, including humpback whales,' he said.
Camden Sound is the first of four new marine parks to be created under the $63 million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy, with other marine parks to be created at Eighty Mile Beach, Roebuck Bay and the North Kimberley.
More at http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/content/view/5665/2297/