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Seafood Industry Australia welcomes Commonwealth Marine Parks Management Plans

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By Milthon Lujan

Australia.- The Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s Marine Park Management Plans, which establish the agreed usage of marine parks along Australia’s coastline.

“The consensus from the fishing industry across all Australian states and territories is one of relief,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.

“We’ve had an initial look at the plans and they appear to support the industry. We recognize there are some exceptions, such as the Bremer Canyon in Western Australia where we will lose a special purpose scallop trawl area.

“Under the plans, Australia would have 36 per cent of its waters listed as marine parks. This is well-above the international ‘Aichi’ target of 10 per cent by 2020.

“It’s important to be clear that marine parks are not a tool for fisheries management.

“There are a number of fisheries management agencies at both a state and a commonwealth level and they use research-based science to determine fishing quotas for
each zone and species.

“Fisheries management agencies are how we make sure there are enough fish in the ocean, not through marine parks.

“Marine parks ensure there are protections in place for ecological features, not fish stocks.

“As part of the review, about 200,000 square kilometres more of the seafloor would be protected.

“More than 500 iconic reefs, canyons and other features would be relabeled as high-protection zones. This is a 40 per cent increase in ecological features from the 2012 plans.

“These plans will secure the future of Australia’s $3.2 billion commercial fishing industry.

“We’re talking about the livelihood of 11,000 direct employees in the commercial fishing industry. This doesn’t include the thousands downstream employed in postharvest.

“Compared to the 2012 draft plans, higher scientific rigour and independent research has been applied to the ecological features covered by habitat protection zones

“We support these plans and we look forward to working with the government to establish a fair and reasonable adjustment package.”

Source: Seafood Industry Australia 

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