The Australian Marine Alliance (AMA) today launches a full blown campaign against the unscientific proposed Marine Bio-Regional Planning Process (MBPP) set to exclude both commercial and recreational fishers from Australia’s coastline.
The AMA has successfully united both recreational and commercial interests in this cause. Dean Logan, AMA CEO argued, 'It’s worth noting that at a time Minister Tony Burke and USA based NGO environmentalists decimate the Australian commercial fishing industry even further, we don’t have a single prawn fisherman left between Sydney Harbour and Eden.
'This is tantamount to taking every farmer off the land between Dubbo to Toowoomba. What’s offensive is that fishing has not been proven to be an irreversible threat to the marine environment anywhere in Australia and not one species of fish has ever been fished to extinction.
'The marine environment is being damaged by inappropriate land based development, pollution from agricultural runoff, urban runoff and sewage as well as introduced pests from bilge water and ships' hulls.
The Gillard Government’s solution to these problems is nothing but a LOCK OUT of fishermen.' Over the past six weeks the Gillard Government has released the largest marine reserve network in Australian history after a shameful process of consultation and almost no credible science. The marine reserve network proclamation is not subject to parliamentary approval and the mandatory ABARES socio-economic assessment has not been completed.
Mr Logan continued, 'The respective marine, boating, recreational fishing, outboard, aqua culture and commercial fishing sectors stand shoulder to shoulder today to say enough is enough.
'The effect on communities will be devastating and estimated to be in-excess of $4.35BN – fish wholesalers, retailers, boat manufacturers, dealers, marina operators and developers, refrigeration companies, local councils, recreational anglers, transport, marine tourism operators, sports clubs, and professional service providers are just a few.
'At a time when we are encouraged by celebrity chefs and nutritionists to eat more quality seafood Minister Burke slashes approximately 70 sustainable fishing trawlers.
'We embrace the environment, and look forward to a continued sustainable and economic safeguard of the marine environment, but this decision is bad for our children and bad for the environment. The only solution is a national campaign and legislative reform. We therefore hope to have a bill before parliament within days,' Logan concluded