Carol Vernon, Greens candidate for Oxley and Greens NSW Spokesperson for Fisheries and the Marine Environment, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC , have clarified the Greens’ position on marine parks and fishing.
Carol Vernon said:
“I, along with The Greens NSW recognise the rights of local communities and community-based groups to participate in planning and management of marine areas. We also recognise the importance of sustainable commercial fishing to jobs and the economy, especially in regional NSW.
“Balancing this is a need to protect our marine environments, both to ensure we protect our marine ecology as well as to ensure that there is enough fish for recreational and commercial fishers into the future.
“The Greens NSW supports the protection of fish habitat under ever increasing threats from poorly planned development, in some cases approved by state planning bodies. Poor forestry and agricultural practices also threaten fish habitat.
“The Greens NSW support Marine Parks as a way to preserve our marine environment as well as to ensure the fishing industry remains sustainable. In the same way we retain National Parks on land to protect our environment, we need a marine reserve system to protect our marine environment from threats. For example, Grey Nurse Sharks, a threatened species that congregates at Fish Rock, is under particular threat from the baited hooks of a small number of irresponsible recreational fishers.”Mehreen Faruqi said:
“The Greens strongly opposed the amnesty on recreational fishing in many sanctuary zones which lasted more than eighteen months. It is very disappointing that the Government will be making fishing permanent in one third of sanctuary zones including two of just six sanctuary zones in the Solitary Islands Marine Park.
“The Government proclaims it is sticking to the science, but perhaps they should have thought about that before declaring the amnesty, not after.
“Sanctuary zones, which provide areas for fish to restock, benefit everybody. This should be a strong point of connection between fishers and the Greens position on protecting our oceans.
“Marine Parks are strongly supported by the community and recreational fishers. A Galaxy Poll in January 2014 found that 93 per cent supported marine sanctuaries. Among recreational fishers, 91 per cent supported sanctuaries and 64 per cent were opposed to them being open for fishing.
“For 75 per cent of people who fish recreationally, restrictions on fishing in marine parks and sanctuaries had not lessened their enjoyment of fishing.”
“A strong and expanded marine park system and uncompromised sanctuary zones are essential for conserving and enhancing biodiversity in the long-term and for future generations to enjoy” Dr Faruqi concluded.
January 16, 2015