20.7 C
Byron Shire
December 5, 2023

South Coast swaps out marine sanctuaries for fishing zones

Latest News

Ballina takes lead with anti-DV rally

More than five hundred people have rallied on the Northern Rivers along with thousands across the country calling for an end to domestic and family violence.

Other News

Byronian wanders down street

After a ten-year hiatus, iconic Byron cafe The Byronian (est. 1978) has returned with a new location, outside Woolies,...

Teens call for youth housing support, better transport

Local youth representatives have told Byron Shire Council that young people need their own housing advice service to help them navigate the shire’s treacherous housing market.

Byron Bay march to focus on Hamas attacks on women

A women’s march is being organised by Northern Rivers group A Mother's Cry in solidarity with Israeli women and girls, and as a response to what the group describes as the UN's 'disturbing and harmful silence, following the brutal Hamas terror attacks in Israel’s south on 7 October.'

New local whisky aged in viognier casks

The third whisky released by local distillers Brookies, Viognier Cask has a deep hue and is said to have...

Erring on the side of kindness

There is one thing we can all do in these wretched times of powerlessness and overwhelming sorrow. Give. 

Armed robbery Burleigh Heads

Police are investigating an armed robbery at a liquor store in Burleigh Heads on November 28.

The cod hole at Julian Rocks, one of the most popular dive spots in the state could be under threat by state government moves to reduce protection in marine parks. Photo Blue Bay Divers

Scout Wallen

Vital sanctuary zones in the Batemans Marine Park are set to be scrapped to accommodate for more recreational fishing.

The NSW Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall announced that these changes have created five new recreational fishing areas in the marine park.

‘The Greens and Labor locked up 85 percent of the region’s best fishing grounds with the stroke of a pen,’ said Mr Constance.

‘Tragically a lot of these areas weren’t locked up for any sound ecological reason, meaning recreational fishers missed out simply because of senseless politics.’

National outrage

The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) has expressed outrage to these changes.

NPA Executive Officer Gary Dunnett said that this is a huge step backwards for the government who are hiding from the acute challenges facing our environment. 

‘Just how big a hint does the government need before they accept that the survival of our coasts, rivers and wetlands are at risk?’ said Mr Dunnet

These changes have been released before a review of the Batemans Marine Park management plan has been completed completed.

‘Sidestepping the statutory process shows that the Minister is unwilling to confront the science – these sanctuaries are essential to the health and productivity of our southern coasts,’ said Mr Dunnet. 

What would it look like in Byron?

Byron Bay marine biologist, Mary Gardner, said that if such changes were to reach the Byron shire it would have detrimental consequences on tourism and marine life. 

‘Sanctuary zones mean that there aren’t any fishing pressures, such as extra boats, people, lines, litter and debris,’ said Ms Gardner.

‘Similar changes would cause a huge disruption to holidaying and tourism that is already thriving.’

Ms Gardner is also worried that any change to our local marine sanctuaries would alter the behaviour of the local marine life. 

The female Osprey has fishing line tangled around its body and foot and a hook in its wing. Photo Byron Vibe.

‘Thanks to the patterns of behaviour maintained by the sanctuary, animals would become sitting ducks to be hunted,’ she said. 

‘This type of long term protection takes time; if you break open the sanctuary, its like smashing your piggy bank before its full.’

An increase in recreational fishing would put pressure on local conservation groups to aid injured marine life. 

‘In Ballina, Sea Bird rescue are already at capacity dealing with fishing-based injuries to birds and turtles,’ Ms Gardner said.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Council looks to repair Mullum’s old Scout Hall

The Byron Shire Council is looking to retain a community asset, Mullumbimby's old Scout Hall, after being flood-damaged and in need of repairs.

3G networks phased out next week

The peak lobby group representing Australia's telecommunication industry announced last week it will phase out 3G networks in the region on 15 December.

Overseas nurses move to Northern Rivers to fill healthcare shortage

Sixty registered nurses from the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland are to join the Northern New South Wales Local Health District (NNSWLHD) before the start of next year’s clinical year. 

Labor’s hypocrisy on climate undimmed

Last week the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, delivered the Albanese Government's second annual Climate Change Statement, claiming major progress in emissions reduction while the numbers continue to scream that the opposite is true.