FISHING FOR A FIGHT

The proposed lock up of Southern Tasmania’s top fishing spots has left Tasmanians who enjoy and financially depend on these areas angry and gutted. Based on scientific illusion and pushed by the RPDC, impacted fishing folk, local Peninsula business and even conflicting State authorities and institutes have been left to wonder where this so-called wisdom has come from? This radical proposal has come like a shot in the dark to those that depend on these marine areas and many people are not convinced hook, line or sinker by this insane proposal. Why is the RPDC as hungry as seals in a salmon pen to lock up the Tasman Peninsula? With fisheries worth millions of dollars to the Tasmanian economy and the added expenditure that recreational fisherman spend, which is known to be in excess of $50million a year, it is insulting that a few isolated scientists can potentially disrupt local economy and destroy livelihoods. A marine lock-up of this scale in a financially sensitive area such as the Tasman Peninsula will be devastating to the local fishing communities. There are concerns of marine safety and potential tragedy due to fisherman being pushed further out to sea, particularly recreational fisherman who are ill-equipped and inexperienced to cope with the unpredictable off-shore seas that rage from the Southern Ocean, right up to Storm Bay and around the Peninsula. Tasmania should be capable of having realistic first-class fisheries management and sustainable practices without simply locking-up our waters and punishing our fishing communities. Will the RPCD allocate the budget necessary to scientifically study these lock-ups, and if so, where will the money come from? The only scientific evidence that has come ashore in Tasmania in the last thirty + years has been by way of commercial fisherman returning catch information. With so many people affected by this knee jerk proposal flagged by the RPCD, there will need to be major benefits proven before the Tasmanian people give away any more of their heritage rights.