Byron Bay joined communities along the Australian coast to send a message to the state government opposing plans to expose marine parks to recreational fishing on Saturday.
Organisers say that overwhelming scientific advice and public opinion is against the move, yet the O’Farrell government looks set to allow recreational fishing in the coming days.
‘Locally, people are concerned by the possible degradation of Byron’s unique marine environment, one of the major tourist drawcards to the area,’ said founder of NGO Positive Change for Marine Life, Karl Goodsell.
‘Only seven per cent of the NSW coastline is currently protected as sanctuary “no-take” zones, and these areas function much as national parks do on land, providing undisturbed habitat for species to breed and flourish.’
Goodsell says pandering to hunting and fishing lobbyists would disregard a joint statement to O’Farrell by more than 220 NSW marine scientists condemning the changes, a Galaxy survey showing 93 per cent public opposition, ‘and even 91 per cent of recreational fishers surveyed who are opposed to weakening protection for marine sanctuaries.’
For more information or to volunteer contact [email protected] or phone Karl on 0422 756 848.