AF & LP Researches Net Ban Calls
There’s a darn good reason for the inclusion of ‘Lifestyle’ in the name of what was once fairly famously known as ‘The Fishing Party’. As recreational fishing fanatics ourselves, we’re well aware of the lifestyle attributes of ‘throwing in a line’ – fishing is after all Australia’s most popular outdoor past-time.
A few recreational fishing groups or ‘networks’ are currently campaigning for gill net bans in waters off urban and other centres,
including Cairns, Mackay, Cooktown, Weipa and Hervey Bay. Proponents of net bans are, and have been, invited to contribute
their recommendations to this web-site. Opponents of the bans, who have NOT as yet been invited to contribute, are also most welcome to do so.
Of course, implementing any net ban disadvantages commercial fishing operators who currently have permits to net – and it is understood that any so effected operator should be deemed eligible for government compensation. The sixty-four dollar questions are HOW MUCH compo might be made available – and will the state government honor any ‘political promise’ to actually pay it ?
INSHORE Net bans are exclusively a matter for STATE governments – and AF & LP is running senate candidates in a FEDERAL election.
However, as calls for net bans are of interest to the fishing fraternity, our party has undertaken to thoroughly RESEARCH every aspect of the issue.
It’s likely that each net ban proposal should be assessed on it’s individual merits – rather than an all-areas declaration pertaining
to all waters where bans are sought. The Mackay Recreational Fishing Alliance, for example, has prepared an extremely-well documented case for the establishment of net bans from Seaforth to St. Helens. Supported by endorsements from the Mackay
Tourist organization and other influential Whitsunday region entities – even the local indigenous association.
But ‘what might be right’ for Mackay may not be appropriate elsewhere. A ‘one size fits all’ solution, always popular with government bureaucrats, is unlikely to deliver a fair, equitable outcome to all stakeholders. Some areas where net bans are proposed are adjacent to heavily populated centres – others are not. Some seem fished only fairly rarely by licensed commercial operators – and some of those operators are said to be willing to ‘cease and desist’, provided they’re adequately compensated.
Fairness and equity is what it’s all about. It is true of course that the interests of recreational fishers and commercial fishing operators often clash – in a sense, both are competing for the same resource in the areas where net bans are being requested.
AF & LP represents all fishing interests: our concerns for the commercial sector are largely economic: the commercial sector is not just trawlers – it’s every boat, bait and tackle shop, even seafood outlets – every land-based business that relies on fishing in all it’s forms.
The industry has already lost thousands of jobs and hundreds of small family businesses – in the south east corner of Queensland
in just the past 12 months, 28 marine dealers have shut their doors. Several here in North Queensland have also closed.
Equally, AF & LP is adamant that recreational fishing folk get a fair share of ‘what’s biting’ – and are no longer subjected to fishing
zone closures and other un-necessary restrictions that lack scientific basis – but have been advanced by environmental extremism.
Often from foreign sources with no genuine interest in Australia’s well being – or the wonderful Aussie ‘lifestyle’.
Gill Nets – ‘to ban or not to ban’ – YOUR thoughts on the proposal are welcome – just type them in below…