Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) has applauded the passing of the Federal Government’s Marine Park Management Plans in the Senate, which establish the agreed usage of marine parks and secures the future of our $3.2 billion commercial fishing industry.
“This is momentous. It gives surety to our more than 11,000 professional fishers and shows exactly what can be achieved when the industry presents a united front,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.
“This result is due in no small part to the united stance of Australia’s professional and recreational fishers. The consensus from the entire fishing industry, across all Australian states and territories, is one of relief.
“The Marine Park management plans received the support of the Coalition and the entire Senate cross bench.
“Despite what Labor may say, these management plans are not a reduction in protection for our oceans. Prior to these plans we had marine parks, but no management plans regarding how the parks can be used, and as such no protection.
“Marine Parks are not a tool for fisheries management. Fisheries management agencies are how we make sure there are enough fish in the ocean, not through marine parks. They use research-based science to determine fishing quotas for each zone and species.
“Under these plans, about 200,000 square kilometres of the seafloor is protected. More than 500 of Australia’s iconic reefs, canyons and other features will now be high-protection zones.
“Yes, some aspects of our industry are impacted under these plans. Tomorrow SIA will start work to ensure professional fishers negatively impacted by these plans will receive fair and adequate compensation. But, tonight we are celebrating more than four years of hard work on these management plans that deliver for the environment, professional fishers and recreational fishers.
“These plans now allow Australian businesses to invest in our iconic fishing industry, with the confidence of secure resource access and the knowledge will be supporting oceans that are used in a sustainable and responsible manner.
“We thank the Senate crossbenchers for their time and consideration of the issues and ultimately for their support. We also thank all those who worked hard to listen to and respond to the professional industry’s concerns.
“This is momentous and this is exactly what SIA was created for.”
Media contact: Jessica McInerney
M: 0420 695 431