Millions of Australian Anglers Ask Government Why They’re Locked Out of More Than a Half-Million Square Miles of Fishing Grounds
Marine-reserve plans are now being implemented around Australia. “Never in our history have recreational fishers been locked out of such a vast area,” says Keep Australia Fishing.
The same release warns the country’s 5 million anglers that if they are unsuccessful in persuading federal environment minister Tony Burke to change this policy, “recreational fishers will be locked out forever” starting July 1, 2014.
It’s a frightening scenario for the country’s anglers and its huge recreational-fishing industry, not only the sweep of area closed, but the inclusion of many reefs and canyons that have become iconic and even legendary for this country’s anglers.
Particularly perturbing to our Australian counterparts is that Burke — who had seemed to recognize the value and importance of keeping coastal waters open to well-managed sport fishing — flipflopped his position, apparently in payback to the greens. And now, calls for explanations and justification of why such extreme measures are necessary continue to go unanswered.
I feel your pain, my brothers Down Under, and share your fears. We’re not quite there yet, but it’s the stuff of which nightmares are made.