Marine Parks Causing Concern in Grey
Posted on Wednesday, 16 February, 2011
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has joined with Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt in calling on State and Federal Ministers to ensure the sensible implementation of proposed Marine Parks.
“I have raised with State Minister Paul Caica and Federal Minister Tony Burke the matter of the “no take zones” proposed within South Australia’s new marine park boundaries and the considerable consternation they are causing in the community.” Mr Ramsey said.
“A number of my constituents have made contact with me regarding the zoning process and I have attended two of a number of public meetings attended by hundreds of community members in the last few weeks. The meetings have been convened by concerned residents, not by the departmental consultation process, but because of the lack of it.
“Representatives from aquaculture and the commercial and recreational fishing interests have expressed concern with the plans to permanently annex 10% of the States' waters including some of our most productive fishing areas.
“This impact is amplified in the west of the State (my electorate) as a consequence of the avoidance of the heavily exploited areas near Adelaide. In fact 17 of the 19 Marine Parks are west of Adelaide.
“I do not understand why 45% of waters have been declared, but only 25% will be protected, why not just nominate the areas to be protected?
“Greg Hunt, who spoke to affected fishers in Port Lincoln recently, and I have asked that careful attention is paid to local professional and recreational fishers in the review process and their views are taken into consideration.
“There is deep concern within the wider community that the loss of access to productive fishing grounds will impact on employment prospects in both the tourism industry and fishing industries and will have a detrimental impact on local communities and businesses.”
Mr Ramsey said despite a commitment that the economic impact should not be more than 5%, there is little doubt in the affected communities that the impact of the proposed zones will be far in excess of this.
“While recognising the sensible implementation of Marine Parks is essential to ensure the long-term health of the marine environment, this must be done with full and comprehensive community consultation taking advantage of local knowledge and expertise,” he said.
Media Contact Leonie Lloyd-Smith (08) 8633 1744
February 15, 2011