THE seafood industry has hit back over claims reduced marine parks leaves Australia vulnerable to being exploited by super-trawlers.
Last week federal Labor MP Josh Wilson made the claim (“Super-trawler fears over park cutbacks,” Herald, March 31, 2018) after the Turnbull government reduced the area of parks proposed when Labor was in power and opened up more areas to commercial fishing.
But the head of the Seafood Industry Australia says there are no plots to bring back super-trawlers and it’s just a Labor/Greens fear campaign to derail the current park plans.
“These management plans do not and will not have any impact on the number of fish being caught in Australian waters,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell told the Herald.
“The plans are based on the latest independent scientific research and extensive community consultation.
“Labor and the Green’s repeated comments that Commonwealth marine parks are being ‘slashed’ are blatant lies
“In 2012 Labor tabled plans that were never accepted or passed. Saying they were is like saying a letter to Santa is a binding agreement to deliver.”
Ms Lovell says Labor’s proposed network had no management plans to govern their use, and therefore no protection.
She says parks aren’t a fisheries management tool, as there’s a number of government agencies that look at stock data to determine quotas for various zones and species.
“Fisheries management agencies are how we make sure there are enough fish in the ocean, not through marine parks. Marine parks ensure there are protections in place for ecological features, not fish stocks,” she says.
by STEVE GRANT