In a shock move by the NSW government, recreational fishers are now allowed to fish from shore in NSW marine park sanctuary zones.
The announcement made yesterday, coincides with the abolishment of the Marine Park Authority and a review of all marine parks within NSW.
Lifting of the ban on recreational shore fishing applies to all marine parks except for the sanctuary zone at Burrewarra Point Headland in Batemans Bay.
Fiona Maxwell from the Australian Marine Conservation Society, cannot believe the bizarre policy that the government is enforcing.
“They are assuming that this will take the politics out of marine park management.
“Sanctuary zones are safe havens within marine parks. Science has shown that having these areas protects fish stocks and other vulnerable marine species,” she said.
Minister for Environment, Robyn Parker told the ABC that there is little scientific basis for preventing line fishing from land and that the move was made on recommendation from an independent scientific audit.
“Your feet have got to be on ground, but along the coastline line fishing again with a handline or a fishing line is going to be available,” Parker told the ABC yesterday.
Fiona Maxwell believes this move shows just how out of step the NSW government is with public opinion and action in other states.
“The QLD government has recently rejected all calls to allow recreational fishing in marine parks and both parties in the Western Australia government have made strong commitments to protect marine sanctuary zones.”
Two new organisations have been established to manage the New South Wales Marine Estate – The Marine Estate Management Authority and the Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel.
By SHANNON KELLEHER