A recreational fishing lobby group says popular north coast fishing destinations could be hit hard if the federal government bans anglers from Marine Parks. The Australian Fishing Trade Association met with ministers in Canberra yesterday, March 1, 2012 to examine the government’s Marine Bioregional Planning. Association spokesman, Allan Hansard, says if research proves anglers should be excluded from an area, then ‘recreational fishing only’ zones should be set up as compensation. Mr Hansard says many communities rely on recreational fishing and any exclusion zones would hurt local businesses.
“It must be remembered that it’s quite a large contributor to local regions.
“There’s been figures reported of multiple billions of dollars that recreational fishing brings to communities in Australia,” he said.
“The mid north and north coast is a very popular destination for families to have holidays.
“Usually those families go there to fish, so if there was a case where marine parks were set up and recreational fishers were excluded from that, that will have a significant impact on the local communities.
“The people that have enjoyed going there fishing year after year will probably go somewhere else.