NSW anglers say "Don’t lock us out!"

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THE Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) and the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFA) are dismayed by the NSW Government’s plan for a marine park that will restrict public angling on 25 sites between Newcastle and Wollongong. AFTA and the RFA say that NSW’s 850,000 anglers will be locked out of public fishing spots without justification. The NSW Government and the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority should rethink the plan to ensure ongoing access to waterways for NSW recreational anglers.

There is no justification for any areas to be ‘locked up’ in sanctuary and conservation zones which take away safe, accessible and sustainable fishing locations from recreational anglers. The NSW Government must maintain fishing access for recreational anglers including the young, elderly and those with a disability. Recreational fishing poses no threat when compared to other processes such as pollution, foreshore development and sewage outfalls.

Further restrictions will reduce opportunities for the public to enjoy the physical and mental wellbeing offered by recreational fishing.
 
There will be significant social and economic implications for communities and businesses that support recreational fishing in these areas. Such decisions should only be taken if there is a sound scientific and economic rationale. In most cases in the proposed marine park plan, there is no scientific justification and no economic assessment of the impacts.

The clear message from NSW recreational anglers to the Government is ‘Don't Lock Us Out!’

Stopping pollution getting into our waterways, especially run-off from urban drains and sewage. Marine sanctuaries and marine parks are not immune from pollution, storm water run-off, microplastics and introduced pest species. All these are far more devastating than well-regulated recreational fishing. Sydney Water is still pumping toxic sewage into the ocean through deep-water ocean outfalls and allowing untreated urban drain overflow into many locations within the Harbour.What are the alternatives to recreational fishing lockouts?

  • Working with recreational anglers to develop cooperative management of our marine resources. Effective bag and size limits and seasonal closures in fish breeding seasons have always been welcomed by anglers.
  • Increasing the monitoring, enforcement of regulations and penalties that affect the marine environment, including pollution, habitat destruction and loss of public access rights.

Want to know more?
Visit the MEMA website for all details of the proposed marine park and maps of the recreational fishing areas that will be affected. There's a link on the site to make your opinion heard.
Follow the "Stop the Lockout" page on Facebook. In just a few days that page has nearly 30,000 followers and is growing by the hour. 

Want to take action to stop the lockouts? Do it now - time is short!
You have only a few weeks to object to the proposed lockout zones. Go to this list on the NSW Parliament website, click the email address of your local Member of Parliament and send them a short but polite message about how the lockouts will affect YOUR fishing location. Give them quick details of how YOUR fishing experience will be affected  and how the public's fishing access will be affected. Tell them how YOU will be personally affected.

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