US-based environment group Pew is pulling out all stops to sway opinion its way as a final decision on Australia's Coral Sea approaches.
In what could be viewed as a misleading online campaign on behalf of several environment groups (reportedly funded by Pew), it has been claimed the federal government has received over 480,000 submissions with "99.9 per cent" supporting a higher level of protection for the Coral Sea than that outlined in the government's draft plan.
While this number of submissions may well have been received, Fisho is of the opinion many have been lodged from outside Australia, and essentially driven by Pew. And why the federal government would heed the views of a US organisation on an Australian issue is anybody's guess...
Environment groups are also expected to roll out more big guns in the next few weeks as final decision time looms. A recent example was the Australian Marine Conservation Society's (AMCS) recruitment of acclaimed Aussie author Tim Winton, who lobbied for the environmental cause in Canberra's parliament.
Whether or not Australia's federal government takes notice of this style of "corporate environmental campaigning" remains to be seen.
Fishing World will have big news on the federal marine parks later this week, so stay tuned!