Fishers must support Coalition to protect fishing access

Senator Ron Boswell has called on fishers to get behind the Coalition to help stop millions of square kilometres of ocean being locked away on July 1.

“Opposition leader Tony Abbott has announced that, if elected, the Coalition will suspend and review the flawed Management Plans for Marine Protected Areas that the Labor Government wants to impose from July 1 next year,” Senator Boswell said.

“That’s fantastic news. That is what recreational anglers and seafood producers have been asking for and the Coalition is delivering. Now, we need support from fishing families throughout Australia to make it happen, and that means voting for the Coalition in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“Everyone knows what Labor’s fishing lockouts are all about: they’re not about managing the marine environment, they’re about managing the Greens. Under a Coalition Government, the MPA plans would be suspended and we would call in scientists to review the plans, at the same time conducting proper consultation with the people who would be affected by MPAs.

“But we can only take these positive actions if we are in government, so fishers must support the Coalition to protect future fishing access.” Senator Boswell said Labor planned to impose a total of 2.3 million square kilometres of new marine parks in Commonwealth waters from July 1. Under the Labor plans, most of that area would be closed to one or more types of fishing.

“This includes a total of 1.3 million square kilometres of Australian oceans where Labor wants to lock out all recreational fishers. That’s ridiculous.”

He said the Coalition would immediately appoint an expert scientific panel to review the science supporting the boundary area for each of the proposed MPAs, and then reconsider proposed boundaries in consultation with stakeholders.

“This process also would be influenced by the fact Australia already has world-leading and highly rigorous fishing management regimes in place.” Senator Boswell said the Coalition moved motions to disallow the Labor Government’s marine park plans – the Marine Reserves Network Management Plans – in the House of Representatives and the Senate earlier this year. In the House of Reps, the motion was defeated, by just one vote, by a combination of Labor, the Greens and independents. The Senate disallowance motion is still live.

“We have consistently opposed the fishing lockouts that Labor and the Greens want to impose on recreational and commercial fishers right round Australia. The only way we can be sure to do this is to win government on September 7. And to do that, we need support from every fisher right round Australia.”

Image – Courtesy of Double Island Point Fishing Charters

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