THE Top End's rec fishing representative body, the Amateur Fishermen's Association NT, has welcomed an announcement from Minister for Parks and Wildlife, Karl Hampton, on the formation of Limmen National Park and Limmen Bight Marine Park in the NT Gulf region.

In a statement to Fisho, AFANT boss Chris Makepeace said while the Limmen Bight Marine Park had initially "come as a bit of a surprise" AFANT sees it as a welcome move.

"As far as recreational fishing is concerned, the NT Government has been up front in assuring us that the park is 'fishing friendly' and that our activities will not be impacted. We welcomed these assurances," said Makepeace.

In a press statement Minister Hampton said, “Limmen National Park and Limmen Bight Marine Park will be the most significant additions to our parks estate in over a decade, from the Greenest, most environmentally conscious Government in the Territory’s history.”

“Government has taken the time to get the right balance between new economic opportunity for the region and conservation."

"I am very pleased that as part of today's major announcement we introduced Maria Island into the National Park, and with that; a new recreational fishing friendly Marine Park, Limmen Bight, located in the Gulf region approximately 600km south east of Darwin," said Hampton.

AFANT has indicated that it would be willing to be involved as a member of any groups established to develop plans of management for the two parks and any management committees that may eventually be established.

"A lot of our fishing future lies in the Gulf area and these two parks provide a real opportunity for us to properly manage the area with that in mind," concluded Makepeace.

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