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  1. #1

    Courier Mail: Green zone story

    Just a heads up!!

    Watch out for tomorrow's Courier Mail which will carry the story that KC has spilled the beans on; The GBRMPA green zone court decision. TFPQ has put in a lot of behind the scenes effort into getting fellow fishos David Burke, and Stephen Clarke's convictions overturned and it is a great victory against the systems and methodologies used in catching alleged incursions into the green zones.

    Dont forget that green zones are an invisible line in the water that "they" say we cant fish in - in most cases there are no signs or markers in place to let the average fisho know where the green zone starts and when it finishes - You are just supposed to know. Its a bit like having a multi lane highway with a speed limit of 60kms - and no signs in place to inform travelers but the police are there not only booking speedsters - but then handing out criminal convictions for the offence which follow the offenders for the rest of their lives. Even speeding infringements disappear off your license after the next renewal...

    This has great implications for the intended closures of Moreton Bay (if the greens get their way) so we probably should take a little notice...

    I will post the actual article here for your perusal tomorrow - Unless someone else beats me to it

    Cheers,

    Adam

  2. #2

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    Not as controversial as some of my other posts - but as promised - here is the article from today's Courier Mail:




    News
    Let them off the hook - Pressure to overturn illegal fishing fines after court rules against use of GPS
    Lachlan Heywood, Peter Michael
    378 words
    23 February 2007
    The Courier-Mail
    1 - First with the news
    7
    English
    Copyright 2007 News Ltd. All Rights Reserved
    THE Federal Government is under pressure to overturn hundreds of illegal fishing convictions on the Great Barrier Reef.
    Queensland Coalition MPs are demanding the Government overturn convictions against 322 recreational fishermen after a Cairns court ruled evidence based on global positioning systems could not be trusted.
    A Cairns court was told that GPS alone was not accurate enough to convict a pair of Cairns anglers accused of fishing in highly contentious protected areas called "green zones".
    The case could have widespread ramifications as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is just one of many government agencies who use GPS for enforcement purposes. Customs and Immigration authorities also rely on the technology to prosecute illegal immigrants and foreign poachers caught in Australian waters.
    Queensland Nationals senator Ron Boswell said yesterday the methods used by GBRMPA to enforce the no-fishing zones were flawed.
    "Since July 2004, 322 people have been slapped with criminal convictions for fishing in green zones,"
    he said.
    "They should have their convictions quashed."
    Senator Boswell has written to Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock demanding action.
    North Queensland Liberal MP Warren Entsch said the Government had been using a hammer to crack a peanut.
    "The only fair thing to do would be to quash convictions incurred since the introduction of the green zones," he said.
    The authority's executive director John Tanzer said the authority would examine the court transcript with a view to tightening its procedures.
    "But it's going too far to suggest the findings require GBRMPA to disband its entire enforcement strategy and zoning plan," he said.
    Mr Tanzer said the continued enforcement of no-fishing zones was vital to the Reef's survival.
    "The community wants to give the Reef's animals and plants a fighting chance so they'll still be around for future generations to enjoy," he said.
    Aquacat Charter boat operator and Cairns-based Fishing Party member Peter Todd said a campaign had begun to rally hundreds of fined fishermen to challenge GBRMPA and the zoning in a class action.
    Action to save Reef P19
    [CML_T-20070223-1-007-401116 ]
    Document COUMAI0020070222e32n00036

  3. #3

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    More to follow tommorrow. This still has legs. Spoke today at lenght to this journo.

    KC

  4. #4
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    In the Jungle

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    Guys,just wondering,are you totally against the green zones or just the way they are policed ?.

    cheers scott

  5. #5

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    I am but an individual so not a "guys" and as such I am 100% against Green and yellow zones but 100% for pink zones, of coarse as a rec fisher on a recfishing site I would and can only be speaking from a recfishing point of view.

    Most people know they have been shafted on zones - and in every single arguable context, but still no one actually knows WHY they were shafted in any honestly arguable context.

    cheers fnq



  6. #6

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    Not against the zones but against the way it was done, the way they are enforced, the penalties involved and the absolute contempt shown by GBRMPA towards rec fishing input and the downright lies they told us during the process. See the TFPQ submission into the review of GBRMPA. Too much to go into here.

    KC

  7. #7

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    They seem to put in a lot of effort in catching fishos. Shame there wasn't the same effort put into catching the Indo fishing boats.


    TOL

  8. #8

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    I to think that current zoning arrangements need fixing and a more common sense approach taken. I also think that the hard nosed, unwavering enforcement attitude shown by GBRMPA has in some way contributed to the chorus of support on the outcome of this court case (that and also their torn relationship with everyday fishers).

    What I dont get is this discussion about GPS and it cant be relied upon.

    Who here uses a GPS to find their "spots" on the reef. I would say most of us do. Who here has found that the GPS is hundreds of metres out (after the US removed the error)? I would say nobody and if you said yes then its either human error or you werent using it correctly.

    I fish around green zones all the time. GPS tells me (within a few metres) where I am. I have never seen my GPS give me a "large" error (it did during the time the good old USA had error in it ) in recent times. I have an old trusty Garmin 12 and its bloody accurate - has been for years.

    Dont forget fisheries and other enforcement agencies have been fining commercial fishers for some time fishing in closed waters using GPS. Nobody was complaining then that it was the right thing to do.

    GPS is one of the best tools to fight illegal fishing in closed waters. What else do we have? Sextant? compass? Drop line? Tape measure?

    Its not the only tool but is a very good one.

    If rec fishers proceed down the path of removing GPS from the equation well then expect some of the commercial guys to take advantage of it.

    Those on the war path want it both ways. GBRMPA are damned if they dont and damned if they do.

    Next time I see Peter Todd on one of his "hot" spots I might go pay him a visit. He shouldnt get upset about the visit because he knows that if I mark his spot on my GPS then that will be OK because the GPS is so inaccurate I will never be able to find it again. It could be anywhere

  9. #9
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    In the Jungle

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    Sorry FNQ,
    I should have been more specific.I was actually asking the guys in TFPQ.
    Seems like when you actually become involved with polititions,the political processes and the beaurocrats who administer it,that you really get to see the ugly side of life.
    Seems like one of the biggest issues is dealing with self righteous,arrogant,yet often ill informed upper level beaurocrats who live in glass houses and think they know more than they do.
    Keep at it kc and adam.(Though at times I'm sure you must feel like beating your head against a brick wall).

    thargor,
    I,like you,Think that a gps is accurate enough to determine proximity to green zones,but if someone is just over the edge than fisheries should probably use discretionary powers and issue a warning rather than a criminal conviction.

    TOL,
    Just hurts to think of actually how much money has been wasted by GRMPA,that could have been used for many purposes where it is most needed.

    FNQ,
    yeah mate you blokes from Cairns got royally screwed with the green zones.
    Had almost no effect down here,thank god!

    cheers Scott

  10. #10

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the encouragement!!

    The GBRMPA process may not have effected you (yet) but its like a domino effect - as the greenies get success at have certain areas shut down - they gather momentum for their next offense.

    The Barrier Reef closures werent an isolated incident or campaign - they are just a small part of the green push to close off fishing and related activities altogether. The next big fight is the fight to save our access to Moreton Bay - but in the meantime there are many smaller fights which are just as significant.

    The first step in the green process is having many more areas declared under the MPA system - after that they can bring in closures almost at will. Heres a map issued by the former federal environment minister's office which details a network of MPAS which completely cover the entire coast line... thats why we say... Closures - coming to a beach or reef near you!! No we arent opposed to green zones as such - just the way they are implemented - its a political process - not a scientific one (even though the greens say its scientific - there are other threads which cover this topic)

    Thanks for your on going support - it means a lot - and keep the questions coming.

    Adam

    Disclaimer for those who want to link my comments to various organisations:
    Any thoughts expressed are those of my own and not in representation of any party or affiliation - political, religious, family, social or business. My views do not reflect where I shop, where I fish or where I work, where I play or even where I choose to take my holidays. It doesnt matter what the topic - whether its fishing, politics, family life, cleaning the house or going to the toilet - I am only representing myself - so will you please stop bugging me about it??
    Last edited by Adamy; 24-02-2007 at 11:15 AM.

  11. #11

    Re: Courier Mail: Green zone story

    let the poor soles off,they didnt know where they were, thank the lord they didnt have to call a mayday and have the vmr and others searching for them.they knew were they were or they shouldnt have been on the water.no sympathy from me to many law breakers getting off on technicalities.sorry officer i didnt know.cheers alex

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