Evans Head Fishermen’s Co-operative has concerns about the Fishing Classic, saying it should be cut back to be a three-day event because of the impact on the ecosystem.
Evans Head Fishermen’s Co-operative has concerns about the Fishing Classic, saying it should be cut back to be a three-day event because of the impact on the ecosystem. Contributed

Sport masks 'ecological massacre'

THE Evans Head Fishing Classic is an “ecological massacre masquerading under the banner of sustainable sport”, and urgent action should be taken to ensure “some sanity” prevails, says Evans Head Fishermen's Co-op.

The co-op general manager, Gerry Morgan, says the event should be cut back to three days and entries limited.

Mr Morgan highlights his concerns in a scathing letter to The Northern Star, also addressed to organisers of the Classic, Page MP Janelle Saffin and Clarence MP Steve Cansdell.

“The number of tickets historically sold have ranged from 500 to well over 1000,” he wrote.

“This is far too many for a small, fragile reef ecosystem.

“We can prove on record that after a ‘successful' Classic, the local fish stocks are absolutely depleted and the three full-time pro hand-line fishermen do it tough for a few weeks,” he said.

Mr Morgan said there appears to be no concern for the fact most bream, mulloway, luderick and other species are spawning or will be and that the snapper have moved inshore as a preamble to their spawning season.

Fishing Classic president Peter Leeson conceded a large number of jewfish were caught, but said: “NSW Fisheries enforced bag limits over the course of the classic and they and the waterways people were very vigilant and they were happy with the way people conducted themselves and the way they stuck to the rules.”



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