NSW’s new Fisheries Minister, Katrina Hodgkinson, has revoked contentious bans prohibiting anglers from fishing around Fish Rock and Green Island, near South West Rocks on the North Coast.
The bans were introduced by former fisheries minister Steve Whan in January this year following lobbying actions by green groups aimed at protecting grey nurse sharks.
Hodgkinson said that the NSW Government would put the closures back out to public consultation for a further three months to ensure the best outcome is achieved for both the grey nurse shark population and the local community.
“The NSW Government is committed to protecting the grey nurse shark population at Fish Rock and Green Island,” she said.
“However, as promised prior to the election, we want to ensure the community have a proper chance to be consulted before any final decision is made.
“The NSW Government has also committed to a scientific review of the effectiveness of management arrangements in meeting domestic and international commitments to the conservation of marine biodiversity, and to ensuring the conservation needs of grey nurse shark are met well into the future.
“The outcomes from community consultation and scientific review will be used to guide the development of new management arrangements for Fish Rock and Green Island.
“Fishing and diving at Fish Rock and Green Island provide many social and economic benefits to the local community and it is important that the community have the chance to provide input into the future of the area
Minister Hodgkinson said the revocation of the fishing closures means that the critical habitat rules that existed prior to Friday, January 28 will be reinstated.
“Recreational anglers are reminded that fishing with bait or wire trace while anchored or moored, or attaching weights of more than 500 grams to fishing lines is prohibited within 200m of Fish Rock and Green Island,” she said.
“Today’s announcements only affect recreational fishing, the commercial fishing closures at Fish Rock and Green Island to protect grey nurse sharks will continue unchanged.
For further information visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries