South Australia Marine Park's Zone Maps Anger Fishermen Folk

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 9, 2012 2:27 PM EST

Fishermen folk have denounced Federal Government's zone map and details of the South Australia Marine Park bill, which specifies areas off-limits to fishing, claiming their livelihood and lives are at stake.

The bill meant to lessen destructive fishing practices, depress pollution, and rejuvenate the fish population to a level called "maximum ecologically sustainable yield" in the whole of South Australia. It came with a map of 150 "no-take" or "sanctuary" zones. In these areas, fishermen have been strongly advised to lessen their fish catch to between 15 per cent and 30 per cent annually to facilitate the population increase.

The downside, however, is that the sanctuary zones cover six per cent of SA's waters, which meant small time fishermen folk would have to go up by 7 kilometres into the ocean just to fish.

"Some fishermen estimate that they will have to take boats 7 km further out to sea to fish legally, and many will have their favourite fishing spots taken away if the proposed Marine Parks are enacted in their current form," Revolution Marine Finance said in a statement at its Web site.

"It's the little guy who is going to suffer here," as well as those who do fishing as a recreational hobby or sport.

While the proposed law sounds wonderful and strikes to achieve a great goal, Revolution Marine Finance, an established boat lender in Australia, said it should be the big businesses that the law should be targeting.

"It's the big businesses who do most of the polluting and destructive fishing practices with their big commercial boats," it said.

"It doesn't really seem like this law is going to have its intended effects, anyway. All it's going to do is move the problems further offshore. It's the large operations that are doing the bulk of the damage. If they want to reduce pollution and destructive fishing practices, why don't they just make it illegal to do and then enforce the law?"

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