If you like fishing, leave the hooks in the tackle box this Saturday morning and head up to Wynnum for a public consultation forum about fishing management in Queensland.
Over the next two months MRAG will hold public consultation meetings at 15 venues across the State – from the Gold Coast to Karumba. For Redlanders, the most convenient opportunities to attend a public consultation meeting will be Saturday 23 August at one of these sessions:
- Wynnum Hall,Cnr Bay Tce & Cedar St, Wynnum from 9:00 to 11:00 am, or
- Redcliffe QCWA Hall, 189 Redcliffe Pde, Redcliffe from 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Whatever your interest in fish whether its catching them, eating them or leaving them where they are, this might be your best chance to find out what plans may be afoot to change how fishing is regulated and managed in Queensland.
Fishing for votes at Redcliffe
Just before the Redcliffe by-election in February 2014, the LNP Government announced plans to relax fishing restrictions at Scotts Point, so that recreational anglers could have access to a protected area in the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
This was not the first time this idea had been raised by the LNP. In 2012, when he was the Opposition fishing spokesman, Mark Robinson flagged the LNP’s intent to relax recreational fishing access rules in marine park no-take zones. At that time Robinson said: “Any changes that we may make would be evidence-based”. However, no evidence was produced by the LNP before the Redcliffe announcement.
After losing the Redcliffe by-election, the Government went on to consult the public about changes to the no-take rules at Scotts Point. According to the departmental website, submissions are still “being assessed”.
Fishing management review
In March, the Government announced that it would be undertaking a comprehensive overhaul of Queensland’s fishing and seafood industry “aimed at simplifying fisheries management, cutting red tape and improving environmental sustainability”. This was strongly supported by the Queensland Seafood Association according to a report on ABC Radio.
create a simplified fisheries management system – one which caters for the needs of all fisheries groups while at the same time ensuring ecological sustainability.
The Government’s fishing management review webpage states that the MRAG review will include recreational fishing. It also notes that:
All fishing sectors, as well as other community groups with an interest in fishing (e.g. conservation and tourism), will be asked for input.
The extent to which anyone will take any notice of community groups with an interest in conservation or tourism is unclear. The 12 person Ministerial Advisory Committee appointed to provide “strategic advice” to MRAG makes for interesting reading. All members seem to be very knowledgeable about and interested in fishing or aquaculture.
- Mr David Bateman – Recreational fisher, Chair, Sunfish Queensland
- Mr Stephen Murphy – Commercial fisher, Southern Trawl fishery
- Mr John Page – Commercial fisher, Net fishery
- Mr Edwin Morrisson – Commercial fisher, Northern Trawl fishery
- Ms Claudine Ward – Commercial fisher, Secretary of the Gulf of Carpentaria Commercial Fishermen Association
- Ms Karen Collard – Commercial fisher, Chair, Queensland Seafood Industry Association
- Mr Neil Green – Commercial fisher, Net and Crab fishery
- Mr Les Kowitz – Recreational fisher, Executive Officer, Freshwater Fishing and Stocking Association of Queensland
- Mr Andrew Tobin – Fisheries scientist and commercial fisher, Line fishery
- Ms Sian Breen – Fishing and conservation expertise
- Mr Chris Calogeras – Aquaculture, Chair, FRDC Indigenous Reference Network
- Mr Matt Barwick – Recreational fisher, Queensland Fisheries Research Advisory Board
The Queensland Fishing Management Review will be accepting submissions from any interested person or organisations until Thursday 30 October at 5pm. Submissions can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org