Contrary to the claims of scaremongers, the proposed Coral Sea Marine Reserve will have little to no effect on recreational fishers, the Australian Conservation Foundation said yesterday.
ACF’s submission on the federal government’s proposal to establish the world’s largest national network of marine reserves says the protected areas would safeguard ocean life and the coastal lifestyles so many Australians hold dear.
“With the proposed Coral Sea marine reserve’s green zone starting 350 kilometres offshore from Cairns, it will not affect the vast majority of recreational fishers,” said ACF’s healthy oceans campaigner Chris Smyth in Cairns.
“People will still be able to fish in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park...
Mr Smythe said recreational fishers will benefit because of the removal of bottom trawling from almost the entire Coral Sea Marine Reserve and commercial tuna long lining from a large area along the eastern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
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“Recent scientific research around the Barrier Reef found causal links between marine reserves and the subsequent recovery of ocean life and its spill over into fished areas.
“Most people living on the coast will see through the wildly exaggerated and unfounded claims made by scaremongers about the economic impact of marine reserves.
“While some commercial fishers will need to make changes to where or how they fish or may choose to leave the industry, the government will provide up to $100 million in funding to help them adjust to the national network," Mr Smyth said.