Today, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), Australia’s leading marine conservation organisation, called on the QLD Government to protect more of the Great Sandy Marine Park from the ravages of overfishing.
Craig Bohm, National Fisheries Campaigner with AMCS, said “The draft zoning plan for the Great Sandy Marine Park will still allow fishing in over 95% of the park. This is not sustainable, not scientific and should not be tolerated.”
“AMCS has reviewed the scientific report on overfishing recently released by the National Parks Association of QLD, and we concur that commercial fisheries in the Great Sandy region are in decline.” Bohm continued.
“The QLD Government must protect a minimum of 20% of each marine habitat in Great Sandy Marine Park in ‘no-take’ green zones. This is what scientists for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority recommended, and in the end we saw the Australian Government protect 33.4% of this park in green zones” Bohm said.
AMCS was a co-convener of the Great Sandy Conservation Workshop held last Sunday and Monday at Hervey Bay. The workshop saw over 40 conservationists gather to review the QLD Government’s draft zoning plan for the Great Sandy Marine Park (Northern Region).
Bohm said: “We heard from marine scientists at the workshop that overfishing in the Great Sandy Marine Park can be addressed through using an independent scientific process to develop the park’s zoning plan. Unfortunately, the draft plan reads like Swiss cheese - lots of holes in it and very little to protect our fish stocks or marine environments.”
Bohm concluded “There are too many trawlers, gillnets, traps, pots and lines. It is no wonder it is getting hard for a recreational fisher to occasionally catch a feed of fish in the area”.
Craig Bohm, National Fisheries Campaigner on 0427 133 481 or 3393 5811