THE federal government says Green groups aren't interested in the facts when it comes to the small pelagic fishery, after conservation representatives failed to attend a stakeholder forum held last week in Hobart.
The Australian Fisheries Management Agency (AFMA) had invited about 50 recreational fishing and conservation representatives to the forum to discuss the small pelagic fishery (SPF).
The SPF has received a lot of publicity in recent years due to efforts by commercial fishing interests to bring factory sized "super trawlers" in to fish commonwealth waters.
“While it is pleasing that nine representatives of the recreational fishing sector and one fisheries consultant attended, it is deeply concerning that not one conservation representative turned up,” Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture said.
“Green groups are quick to criticise and accuse government of lack of consultation, yet this boycott of consultation gives the impression they are not genuinely interested. They just want to play cheap political games and expose themselves as little more than anti industry activists.”
“It is clear the green groups want to ignore the science and play dumb when it comes to the small pelagic fishery.”
“They don’t care about the facts and want to continue deceiving the community with their fear campaigns.”
The forum was promoted as an opportunity for conservation and recreational fishing stakeholders to voice their views about the small pelagic fishery and learn about the current management and science in the fishery.
Senator Colbeck said it was disappointing green groups did not attend despite being advised of the forum more than a month in advance.
Copies of the presentations made by Drs Nick Rayns, Tony Smith and Tim Ward at the Small Pelagic Fishery stakeholder forum held in Hobart can be found on the Australian Fisheries Management Authority website through the link below.