Angling fraternity objecting to marine park plan

NORTHERN Rivers recreational fishers are not happy with the proposal for another marine park.

The National Parks Association wants to create the Bundjalung Marine Park as one of six new parks proposed to be on the map by 2011 as part of the Torn Blue Fringe Report Part 2.

But ECOfishers NSW chief executive officer Ken Thurlow is opposed to the idea, saying marine parks are just 'green lemons' and more restrictions on recreational fishers are not needed or welcome.

“There is no evidence whatsoever by the marine park authority to identify how, when, where or why recreational fishing is a real threat to either the long-term sustainability of fisheries resources or the underlying biodiversity of ecosystems,” he said.

“There is no justification for restrictions on any forms of recreational fishing in any NSW marine park, so any claims that marine parks provide protection for coastal biodiversity and ecological processes are gross untruths.

“And now they want to spend tens of millions of dollars on a new park which will be wasted, for no environmental benefit.”

The Bundjalung Marine Park proposal is for 21,800 hectares, spreading from Evans Head to Iluka.

The report calls on the State Government to act quickly to adopt the recommendations for the new parks.

“In so doing, it will provide safe haven for the State's unique marine biodiversity, build resilience into our marine ecosystems and restore and maintain connectivity so our marine life can sustain and replenish itself in a natural fashion,” the report stated.

Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt said she had passed on the report to the NSW Marine Parks Authority.

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