NSW backs down on fishing lockouts

Government pledges no loss of fishing rights in new marine parks.

The NSW state government has promised there will be no loss of fishing rights or access under the proposed marine park sites put forward by the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA).

As part of the proposed Sydney Marine Park encompassing 25 sites in the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion, several key fishing locations on Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay would have been designated out of bounds for recreational fishermen. The proposal sparked a huge backlash from local fishermen.

While the public consultation period for the proposed marine parks is still open, the Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, has already confirmed there will be no lockouts in the parks. Blair said he had received extensive feedback from both local communities and anglers and is confident that fishing is not the key threat to the sustainability of our marine environment.

“The feedback we have received has been robust but vital to being able to make this decision today. While consultation will continue, I felt it was paramount to allay the uncertainty and fear the fishing industry is currently experiencing,” he said.

“I am a keen fisherman myself and understand both the economic and social values the industry brings to our State.

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