More Fishing Options On The South Coast This Summer

Recreational fishers now have more options to drop a line and snag a fish with the NSW Government announcing it will open up new fishing areas in the Batemans Marine Park ahead of school holidays.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said five new fishing zones would be created in the Marine Park, granting recreational fishers and holidaying families greater access to a cherished pastime.

“Fishing is one of this State’s iconic pastimes and as Minister I’m keen to support our recreational fishing industry, which generates $3.4 billion in economic output each year,” Mr Marshall said.

“These newly created zones within the Batemans Marine Park will allow families to access more fishing areas ahead of summer school holidays.”

The five sites identified for increased access are: Brou Lake (South), Clarks Bay (Freshwater Bay), Forsters Bay, Montague Island (East and South) and Nangudga Lake.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance said the announcement delivered on a commitment earlier this year to boost fishing access in the Marine Park.

“The Greens and Labor locked up 85 per cent of the region’s best fishing grounds with the stroke of a pen, which was an absolute body blow to our community’s recreational fishers,” Mr Constance said.

“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.

“The sites we have identified are low hanging fruit and areas where it makes sense to wind back restrictions on recreational fishing activities.

“Today’s announcement will provide immediate access to these areas before school holidays start and we see tourists and families heading out for some quality fishing.

“A broader review of the Batemans Marine Park is ongoing and will provide Government with key information about management of the Park going forward.

“I want to see a Marine Park that balances recreational, tourism and conservation values.”

The following changes will take effect in these zones:

Brou Lake South

· Catch and release recreational fishing will now be permitted.

Montague Island South and East

· Recreational fishing activities will now be allowed (including line, spear, trap & net, hand haul prawn net).

· Fishing will be restricted to protect grey nurse sharks between 1 November and 30 April each year

o No fishing with bait

o No fishing at anchor

o No fishing with a wire trace line

o Not nets (landing nets allowed).

Clarks Bay – Freshwater Bay and Forsters Bay

· Recreational fishing activities will now be allowed (including line, spear, trap & net, hand haul prawn net).

Nangudga Lake

· Recreational line fishing and prawning using a hand held scoop net will now be permitted.

Above: Member for Bega, Andrew Constance and Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall with recreational fishers. Meanwhile Independent Member of NSW Parliament, Justin Field, has slammed the Government’s announcement made today to allow fishing in Batemans Marine Park sanctuary zones as anti-science and anti-environment.

Mr Field said “The Environment Minister, Matt Kean, has been all over the news over the last 24 hours saying that he will listen to the science – well the science is clear that marine sanctuaries are the best protection for the marine environment.

“This decision will undermine the entire marine park network across the state and stall any progress in protecting our marine ecosystems.

“For all the words from the Liberal Environment Minister, we constantly see the anti-science National Party calling the shots when it comes to the management of our natural resources and the environment in NSW.

“The Berejiklian Government is on the wrong side of this debate. The community overwhelmingly supports marine parks and sanctuaries and they will be horrified to hear their favourite holiday spots are being undermined in this way.”

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