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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fishing Industry Fight Continues Over Reserves - Heather Butler, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Fishing Industry Fight Continues Over Reserves - Heather Butler, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

State Labor Member for Lyons Heather Butler has met representatives of the commercial fishing industry and St Helens businesses in the wake of the Federal proposal for new marine reserves.
Mrs Butler said there was grave local concern about the impact of the suggested declaration of the huge new reserves so close to Tasmania’s coastline.
“St Helens is widely recognised as a tourism town, but it really is the fishing industry that provides the year-round energy to keep the local economy turning.
“It has become the main shore base for the resurgent Tasmanian scallop fishery, but that is one sector that is particularly threatened by the reserves proposal.
“Senior industry players tell me the scallop fishery will be devastated by a cut of up to 70 per cent by the change.
“Simply saying the operators in the industry will be properly compensated, ignores the flow-on the fishery has to a region so strongly dependent on the sea.
“Adding to the insult is that Tasmania’s scallop fishery is now one of the most sustainably managed anywhere.
“Fishermen are being penalised for doing the hard yards to correct the boom bust cycle it had become infamous for.
“The Commonwealth has no alternative management plan.”
Mrs Butler said today discussions resolved to support a public meeting to be held at St Helens High School next Tuesday and she urged anyone involved in the fishing industry or anyone who believed they would be affected by the changes to attend.
“The Break O’ Day Council and the St Helens and District Chamber of Commerce have offered their support to help organise the meeting and continue the pressure on the Federal Government particularly Environment Minister Senator Ian Campbell.
“The State Government has agreed to fund a social, environmental and economic impact study of the proposals to put some facts into the argument.
“And I call on State Liberals to demonstrate their voiced support for the fishing industry by taking up the issue with their Federal colleagues.”

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