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Stop the Lockout: very much our concern in SE NSW

The Beagle Editor, No matter which way you look at our Marine Parks, they are flawed and it's not helping anyone or the marine life. In fact, it is dangerous. ‎There is a petition and a building campaign. Below Craig McGill‎ offers an insight into the issue to the group STOP THE LOCKOUT! With the absence of any site-specific science, no baseline studies and, in my opinion, the impartiality of at least some of the Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) panellists in question, what this ‘consultation’ process basically amounts to is a convoluted polling system. Make no mistake, in light of the events of the last 2 weeks, your submission will amount to nothing more than a vote. Nevertheless,we must flood them with votes and give them plenty to read.At a meeting this week, hosted by Maritime and with DPI representatives present, I put forward the question as to the security of the online submission process and whether it was open to Australian citizens only. I framed the question in reference to the recent Fishing World poll hack. The answer the question of security didn’t surprise me, -- “we are concerned about it”. Fair enough, we are all concerned about it. If the US military can get hacked, then I’m sure MEMA shouldn’t pose any great problems.The next bit floored me. Turns out that the consultation process is open to the world. The opinion was expressed by DPI that ‘if a tourist comes to Australia and utilizes the marine estate (be it fishing, diving etc) then shouldn’t they be entitled to make a submission ?. . I personally find it outrageous --- the suggestion that a non-Australian citizen, living OS, could have a say in something that is going to affect my livelihood, the livelihood of hundreds of businesses, Australian residence recreation and way of life and the management of our natural resources. If you reverse the situation, how do you think an American, for example, would react.? This is from MEMA's privacy statement‘ The Marine Estate Management Authority may publish your submission unless you advise otherwise. Publication of submissions will usually include your name and the name of your organisation, if relevant. The Authority will remove contact details such as your email address, postal address and telephone number.’ So, in other words MEMA is obligated to keep your submission confidential if you choose that option and even if you agree to let them publish it, then they will not reveal any details that might give away which country the submission originated from or whether they are an Aus. citizen. I think we should be calling for an independent audit of all submissions.I’m having trouble getting my head around this. Am I overreacting or is there something deeply disturbing about this whole thing? Is it ok that a British tourist that has come to Australia, had a swim or a fish, return home, never to be seen on Aust shores again, is allowed to have a say in something that will have such a big impact on Australian society?. Or worse still someone who has never even set foot in Aust and never will, can have a say.And even if you agree that its ok for a non-Aust tourist to have a say, how would MEMA sort out the submissions of the ones who had actually visited and the ones that hadn’t. And all this before we even consider the potential for mass group submissions from the radical green groups OS. It's not just the lock-outs that we must stop, it's MEMA and the whole system. Here's another perspective.

A BIOLOGIST'S VIEW, quotes by Professor Bob Kearney

Recreational anglers have found unexpected support from the scientific community. Some marine biologists have noted that the creation and rezoning of marine protected areas (MPAs) have, in some cases seen an over-reaction to poor, incorrect or incomplete science, resulting in draconian laws restricting the recreational angler, while not addressing more immediate and threatening issues. University of Canberra Emeritus Professor of Fisheries, Bob Kearney, addressed The Australian Society for Fish Biology in Canberra under the title The pros and cons of marine protected areas in New South Wales: Who's been hoodwinked? The subject of his address was the Batemans Marine Park (BMP) on the southern NSW coast. He was highly critical of the science involved in formulating the Science Paper, when it failed to address real threats such as pollution, siltation, and introduced species. "The management measures implemented are all nothing more than restraints on fishing. None of the key threats identified for estuaries are addressed in any way," said Prof Kearney. "Almost all of the other listed causes of 'direct damage', - introduced marine pests, swing mooring chains, propellers and retrieval of anchors, - are totally ignored, except for retrieval of anchors, which is mentioned in the zoning plan as being permitted in all zones, including sanctuaries, except over seagrass beds in sanctuaries. "Thus there is extremely little action against anything, even if it has been identified as a threat, except fishing of any sort. "The Batemans Marine Park is nothing more than an external agency imposed fisheries management measure, and an extremely poorly conceived and designed one, at that. "Why the Marine Parks Authority (MPA) is allowed to introduce and administer measures which are solely fisheries management, when NSW has another body, DPI (Department of Primary Industry), with the legislated responsibility for fisheries management, is another matter," Prof Kearney said. He continues: "Has the MPA been hoodwinked by the authors of its own reports? The bias in the documents is so consistent it's hard to believe management was not complicit. "Not only is it extremely unlikely there will be any demonstrable benefit to recreational fisheries, certainly not on ocean beaches or in estuaries, but the case for having future beneficial area management will be seriously weakened by the experience of these closures failing to deliver," Prof Kearney said. When marine biologists, like Prof Kearney, can easily discredit the Science Paper re Batemans Marine Park, finding the recreational angler an easy scapegoat, then it's cause for concern for the people areas where any Marine Park "lockout zones" are proposed and we must ensure that the whole zoning review process must not be allowed to be flawed. Fishing is one of the main recreational activities conducted in Australia and because of its popularity multiplied by an increasing population, is becoming more and more regulated.

This is not just a march for fisherman. This is a march for better management and for the interest of our marine environment. We are sick of the government abusing the environment and feeding us lies. We now need transparency and common sense applied to our marine management. GET YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND YOURSELF INTO THESE STORES RIGHT NOW! The Eurobodalla is going to do their part and chip in with the STOP THE LOCKOUT petition. "It's in Sydney and doesn't affect us" WRONG! It affects us more than you know.If the greater Sydney proposed marine park gets stopped in its tracks it makes it a lot easier to have a much better marine park here that doesn't include LOCK OUTS!

Its not about stopping marine parks, its about being locked out of all our key fishing areas. Fisheries management is the management tool needed, not lock outs.We now have petition forms available to sign throughout the entire Eurobodalla Batemans - Moruya - Tuross Head - Narooma. You can drop into the following stores: Narooma Fishing And Dive Centre Ocean Hut Compleat Angler Tuross Boatshed Tackle World Moruya Compleat Angler Batemans Bay BCF Batemans Bay Charlie's Tackle World Harry's Bait and Tackle Bayside barber shop & shaving parlour Cameron's H Hardware Batemans Bay Cameron's H Hardware Moruya (starting on Tuesday) Euro Fishing Association

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