General Framework

  • Favour private enterprise system to build a solid economic base, small government and bureaucracy
  • Use solid economic base to provide social and cultural infrastructure
  • Australian sovereignty as primacy over international obligations
  • Secure our borders
  • Economic and compassionate immigration at levels Australia’s social infrastructure is capable of handling
  • Recognise that modern transport and communications make state boundaries less relevant, and standardisation of services Australia-wide is in Australia’s interest
  • Use scientific, factual information in the decision-making process
  • Responsible environmental interactions and factual environmental education are paramount to ensure ecosystem conservation, sustainable harvest, and scientific monitoring
  • Respect and encourage ethnic diversity within Australia
  • Recognise the value of research and investment into new economic activities


Fishing industry, commercial

  • Current situation:  Australia imports 70% of our seafood consumption at a cost of $1.8 billion annually
  • Australian marine ecosystems are vast and well-managed, with the potential to sustainably supply all our seafood needs
  • The health benefits of a seafood-based diet are enormous
  • Australia’s aquaculture industry is at present small, but has vast potential
  • Sustainable, scientifically monitored fishing does not damage ecosystems or biodiversity
  • The aquaculture industry in Australia has not caused environmental damage
  • Australia has a responsibility to economically manage its exclusive economic zones, or other countries may petition the world in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for access to our exclusive economic zones
  • Failure to sustainably harvest our marine resource exports environmental problems to other countries less able to protect their marine environments, e.g. Thailand
  • The method of commercial fishing must be considered in discussions on sustainability, e.g. line fishing versus net fishing
  • Professional fisherman ideally should be based in a recognised geographical area, and have a responsibility for the sustainability of their harvest

Fishing, amateur

  • Amateur fishing is a social, cultural, and traditional right of all Australians
  • Amateur fishing is a regular pastime of at least 20% of the Australian population
  • Amateur fishing has huge economic importance to the Australian community
  • Managed amateur fishing has no effect on biodiversity or sustainability of the marine ecosystem
  • Amateur fishing has huge tourist potential and economic spin-offs
  • Amateur fishing is excluded from less than 1% of American continental waters
  • Amateur fishing is a cross-generational, traditional Australian recreational activity which should be encouraged at all levels of Australian government

Environment Policy Principles

  • Humans are part of life on earth
  • It is appropriate for humans to interact in all earth’s ecosystems
  • Human environmental interaction should be responsible based on the principles of ecosystem conservation, biodiversity conservation, sustainable harvest, and scientific monitoring of human interaction
  • Education is preferable to “lock out.”  Facts and science, not emotion and politics should guide human interactions
  • All ecosystems continually change, with a process of degeneration and regeneration occurring through time

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

  • They are necessary for research and monitoring of the ecosystem and to establish a baseline of biodiversity and biomass within the ecosystem
  • They should be small, representative, and easily policed
  • Marine Protected Areas do not prevent the effects of climate change, pollution, natural disasters such as extreme weather events, oil spills, etc.
  • Sustainable fishing activities do not affect biodiversity or ecosystem health

The Coral Sea

  • Australia’s exclusive economic zone within the Coral Sea covers an area of approximately $1 million square kilometres
  • These are not territorial waters, and are not ours by right
  • Our access to this exclusive economic zone can be challenged by other countries
  • The ecosystem of the Coral Sea is at present almost pristine, despite long-term human activities
  • Only 2% or 23,000 square kilometres of Australia’s Coral Sea is coral-bearing.  The other 98% is deep, trackless ocean
  • 60% of the coral-bearing area of the Coral Sea has been protected for the last 25 years.  The biodiversity of corals and fish within the coral-bearing 2% of the Coral Sea is far less than the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • There are no resident pelagic fish within the Coral Sea, they all migrate through the southwest Pacific
  • The Battle of the Coral Sea did not occur within Australia’s exclusive economic zone, but to the north in the waters of Papua New Guinea and the Solomons
  • The declaration of the Coral Sea Heritage Park was an inappropriate political and emotional decision based on misinformation from the American Pew environmental group, which achieves nothing positive for Australia or for the Coral Sea ecosystem.
  • Australians have a right to access and harvest sustainably our Coral Sea zone, having regard for the good environmental principles already stated
  • The USA under the Coral Sea Tuna Treaty harvests $1 billion worth of tuna from the Coral Sea waters to the north of Australia’s exclusive economic zone.
  • A well-managed tuna fishery within Australia’s exclusive economic zone would have enormous economic benefits for northeastern Australia, and the Australian economy in general, without having detrimental effects on the biodiversity or ecosystem conservation of the Coral Sea, and this could co-exist with amateur fishing, tourism, and dive activities.
  • As the Coral Sea is at present pristine, effectively protected and managed and faces no immediate threats, precipitous action is unnecessary. All options can be considered in a timely manner to ensure the best outcome for all Australians.


  • Has been the most rapidly growing protein source in the last ten years worldwide
  • Australia is ideally suited to have a major aquaculture industry with high water quality, an extensive coastline and the scientific know how
  • Only 1/1000 of world aquaculture production is in Australia
  • There have been no new aquaculture ventures for the last seven years due to ‘red tape’ inhibitions
  • The highly successful Atlantic Salmon aquaculture industry in Tasmania produces 3 times the annual catch from the Great Barrier Reef without environmental hazards
  • Aquaculture has vast potential to increase sea food production as well as protect Australia’s marine ecosystemsRiparian Zone Policy
  • Clearing of river banks has caused serious degradation to terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems
  • Revegetation of river banks is the most practical significant national environmental initiative that Australia can take
  • Revegetation of just three to five metres from the river bank is all that is required to relieve environmental degradationBenefits
  • Sea conservation
  • Siltation control
  • Pollution control
  • Environmental corridors
  • Aquatic and Marine ecosystem production
  • Planting and harvesting timber trees by decreasing the pressure on native forests
  • Source of employment with a ‘Green Army’
  • Aesthetic and lifestyle ‘spin-offs’


  • A self serving forty million dollar bureaucracy which has lost direction, perspective, public trust and confidence.

Why? Because:

  • Deceitful interaction with the fishing community
  • Debacle of green zones with no respect for disastrous effects on community, particularly on marine support services at a cost in excess of $300 million
  • Unsubstantiated claims of threats to reef to justify government funding
  • Negative effect on reef tourism
  • Negative publicity
  • Costs
  • Regulations
  • Stifling independent research by denying access
  • Deceptive public surveys and education


  • Redefine the role of GBRMPA within its charter.
  • Focus on real problems and solutions.
  • Develop private enterprise in marine service to improve quality and perspective of the science involved.
  • Publish all publicly funded science
  • Reveal funding sources.
  • Establish meaningful interaction with shareholders.

Great Barrier Reef
  • Reef ecosystem which extends from Great Dividing Range to the continental shelf
  • Has an area of 350 000 square kilometres – consists of 2500 reefs which stretch from Cape York to Rockhampton. (Length of 2000 kilometres)
  • Is 8000 years old and formed in the last significant sea rise of a 100 metres
  • It is a robust ecosystem capable of adapting to environmental changes
  • After 200 years of European interaction the reef is in pristine condition and under no immediate threat
  • Is the least fished of all major coral reefs
  • Annual Catch (Great Barrier Reef) 25 kg/square kilometre
  • Annual Catch (World Reef) 7000 kg/square kilometre
  • Human intervention has produced no new major threats to the survivability of reef ecosystemsExisting threats to reefs are;
  • Natural weather events such as cyclones
  • Climate change
  • Sea level change

 These factors are not human related

  • Pollution, siltation, Crown of Thorns, eutrophication, anchors, spear guns, algal blooms and overfishing are all regularly cited but are not significant threats

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Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party AFLP Fishing Party Daniel McCarthy Cairns