View Full Version : Amnesty allowed fishing on Reef

29-08-2005, 10:40 AM
Amnesty allowed fishing on Reef
Steven Wardill
29aug05 Courier Mail

A SECRET six-month amnesty on illegal recreational fishing in the Great Barrier Reef was tolerated by the authority charged with protecting the world heritage-listed icon.

The amnesty on amateur anglers resulted in more than half those caught fishing in the first 12 months of the Reef's new "green zones" being let off.

While no such leniency was shown to commercial operators, detections of professional anglers dropped in 2004-05 despite a seven-fold increase in area of the Reef now off limits.

The unofficial amnesty on issuing recreational anglers with fines coincided with last year's federal election at which the fledgling Fishing Party polled 30,000 Senate votes. The party, marketed as the political voice of recreational fishing, gave its preferences to the Nationals which helped the Coalition win a Senate majority.

A review of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which was announced last week, was central to the preference deal.

Figures released to The Courier-Mail by GBRMPA, reveal there were 194 recreational fishing offences detected in 2004-05. This compares with 44 the previous year when no-take zones covered just 4.7 per cent of the Reef.

In 105 cases an "advisory letter" was issued to the offender while seven anglers have since been fined between $750 and $2000.

The remaining offence detections are either still be investigated, before the courts or have been abandoned.

A GBRMPA spokesman said the amnesty had helped educate local and visiting anglers about where the complex range of boundaries lay.

"An enhanced surveillance presence in inshore areas is a significant factor to this increase (in offences detected)," he said.

While unaware of the amnesty, Fishing Party spokesman Kevin Collins said it was fair and reasonable.

However, he rejected the authority's view that anglers knew the boundaries, saying a recent State Government survey showing 42 per cent of people had stopped fishing instead.

30-08-2005, 06:40 AM
Well if no one else will say it I will ...

- The Fishing Party made a front page Article

- Kevin Collins is being called by Journalists for comments.

These are 2 HUGE steps forward. From being nothing now Fishers have a voice that is willing to be political.

It may not seem like much - its the tip of the iceberg with plenty of hard work going on that people can't see.


30-08-2005, 05:10 PM
Hi Gary
well i was going to post it myself, but wasnt impressed with this
The party, marketed as the political voice of recreational fishing, gave its preferences to the Nationals which helped the Coalition win a Senate majority.
now the coalition is running the senate, this country is going to go through some turmoil, and thinking at this stage may cause some backlash to the fishing party, i could be wrong, but i think the wording of the release is more to hurt then help the fishing party. just my thoughts.

31-08-2005, 09:17 AM
JB and other members....

What "power" the Fishing Party giveth...... ;) to the coalition :-/

Can be withdrawn i.e. taken away

Your call....OUR VOTE!! >:(