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Marine Protection Being Dismantled

The Beagle Editor,

While we have all been distracted – first by the Christmas Holiday season, then by the bushfires, and now by the coronavirus – the state government has been proceeding with its plans to remove no take areas from Batemans Marine Park by declaring an amnesty on illegal fishing in some sanctuaries.

Despite what many people seem to think, a Marine Park does not work in the same way as a National Park. The marine animals and plants are only fully protected in a fraction of the Park – the sanctuary zones.

Already the government has undone 13 years of benefits by allowing fishing of one sort or another in most of the Park’s southern sanctuary zones including Montague Island. The government’s amnesty comes on top of earlier action which allowed line fishing from the shore in most sanctuaries that had beaches or headlands. Now the bureaucrats have been quietly drafting the regulations to enshrine these changes in law. Jenny Edwards

PHOTO by Jennifer Thompson

Giant Blue Groper - no longer protected by a sanctuary zone at Montague Island.

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