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Marine Park Plans Require Proper Consultation

26 February 2013

AUSTRALIA - The South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA) is urging Minister Burke to engage in some genuine face-to-face consultation on the issue of Marine Park management.

The South East Fishery is having another two marine parks imposed upon it. This will bring the total number of parks in the fishery to 15 and will see more than 90 per cent of the South East Fishery closed to trawling by Marine Parks and other closures.

They way in which all these Marine Parks are managed - especially the way fishing gear is defined is very important to fishermen currently working in areas that will become marine parks.

Simon Boag, CEO of SETFIA says: “It is unacceptable that there has been no face-to-face consultation with affected fishermen about management plans. The Department of the Environment has received thousands of tick and flick emails and they believe that this is consultation. It simply is not. Now that the Labor party has split from the Greens it is time for them to return to core Labor values and actually sit down with fishermen and explain how the new Parks will be managed.”

Trixi Madon, Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Fisheries Association also says that: “The professional fishing industry was disappointed there had been no face-to-face stakeholder consultative meetings to explain the management plans or plan components still to be developed. We question how meaningful these consultative processes really are when they involve complex rules and regulations, and seek inputs from Australians living in all areas of the nation.”

SETFIA believes that Minister Burke is rushing the process to meet a political agenda that is no longer driven by the Greens. Mr Boag calls on the Minister to put things right and work through a genuine consultative process in which fishermen are actually spoken to.


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