Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Kimberley Marine Park process of concern

source Western Australian Fishing Industry Council

The WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) has expressed concern regarding the absence of consultation apparent in the process to declare Western Australia’s latest Marine Park.
WAFIC CEO Mark Tucek said while the professional fishing sector generally supports the Government’s commitment to the protection of the iconic Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay in the Kimberley, future such decisions that permanently change the potential use of a State-owned resource requires a different approach.
“Professional fishers understand the need to balance heritage, environmental and commercial interests and have a long, proud history of working cooperatively to achieve good outcomes for all.”
“However, striking that balance is impossible if those who will be impacted by a decision are not part of the negotiation.”
“In the case of Talbot Bay, it is disappointing that time wasn’t available before yesterday’s media event to enable informed and detailed discussions, but generally speaking we support the decision.”
Mr Tucek said WAFIC’s support is conditional on the Government honouring the commitments to marine reserve planning as set out in its Fisheries Policy statement of March 2012, namely that the WA Government must ensure:
  • management objectives are established for marine reserves on an objective basis grounded in scientific evidence;
  • activities are assessed against those objectives, taking into consideration local environmental factors, current management practices and possible future management regimes; and
  • activities should be allowed in areas where compatibility with the management objectives can be established.
“We are pleased the Government has given specific recognition of the existing pearling activities in the area and believe a low level of commercial fishing, including the barramundi fishery that supplies local tourist markets, is compatible with the reservation of the area as a multi-use marine park.”
“Our biggest concern based on the information at hand is that stakeholders weren’t approached prior to the decision to ensure the final outcome was balanced and workable for all,” Mr Tucek said.

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