THE Narooma Port Committee has welcomed the news that all but two beach sanctuary zones within the Batemans Marine Park have been re-zoned “Habitat Protection” zones.
“Two years after the NSW Government announced that beach sanctuary zones would be in a state of ‘amnesty’, Friday’s announcement that nearly all the beach zones within the Batemans Marine Park are to be re-zoned as Habitat Protection zones is a victory for science and common sense,” said Dr Philip Creagh, chairman of the Narooma Port Committee.
“The extreme green anti-fishing groups, such as the National Parks Association, Nature Conservation Council and even the Nature Coast Marine Group, with their anti-fishing rhetoric, will be horrified at this decision.
“At last science is starting to overtake the former Marine Parks Authority mantra of ‘lock it up and lock ‘em out’ and hopefully when the re-zoning of the Batemans Marine Park starts in 2015 the full extent of the illogical zoning used by the Labor/Green Government in 2006 will be fully realised.”
Dr Creagh continued: “There is no doubt the sanctuary zoning within the Batemans Marine Park made this region an unattractive option for recreational fishing families who were prosecuted for getting worms from Handkerchief beach or fishing off Fullers beach.
“Families were made to feel guilty by the various extreme Green conservation groups and the Marine Parks Authority for wanting to teach their children to fish or gather bait responsibly on the magnificent beaches in our Shire.
“Beach sanctuary zones were explained to the public by the Marine Parks Authority as a necessity in order to protect marine biodiversity.
“The one science paper that was presented to support this claim was from South Africa.
“It was shown to have falsified data, exaggerated claims and was completely irrelevant to the Batemans Marine Park … no-one within the Marine Parks Authority has had to answer for this travesty as yet.”
Local Member Andrew Constance, one of the founding members of the Narooma Port Committee, worked tirelessly within Government to accomplish the removal of these beach sanctuary zones. On behalf of all our members we congratulate him.
“The Narooma Port Committee has lobbied hard on behalf of all those likely to be affected by the unscientific fishing closures imposed on us six years ago by the former Labor Government.
“As chairman of the Committee I wish to thank those members, together with the Coastal Rights Association, who have assisted ably with their time and efforts.”