Supporters rally to praise marine park
By BREE PRICE
SALLY McPherson is prepared to say goodbye to some of her favourite fishing spots if it means protecting the marine environment for future generations.
"I'm a recreational fisher and a conservationist. I don't think you have to be one or the other," the Patchs Beach resident said.
"There are hundreds of great fishing spots on the Far North Coast and if some are excluded for the greater good, then so be it."
Ms McPherson was just one concerned local resident who spoke at a Friends of the Cape Byron Marine Park public forum held yesterday at Railway Park in Byron Bay.
She said she saw the Marine Park like a National Park, but at sea.
"We don't seem to have a problem with National Parks and accept that in these areas different rules apply," she said.
"By good behaviour in these areas, we have become part of the solution, not the problem."
Friends of the Cape Byron Marine Park member Serge Killingbeck said conservation and recreational fishing were not opposed.
"The sea belongs to noone, it is the responsibility of everyone. No one group should monopolise it," Mr Killingbeck, of Patchs Beach, said.
"The Marine Park is for our children and grandchildren.
"I want my son or daughter to be able to make a living from the sea.
"In places like the Cape Byron Marine Park we can take baby steps to more sustainable resource use patterns."
Submissions on the Cape Byron Marine Park Draft Zoning Plan close on November 29.