The Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) – representing the wholesale suppliers of fishing tackle and bait and tackle stores - have applauded thedecision by the Queensland Parliament to implement three net free zones in Queensland. The legislation to implement the zones into law was passed lastnight after a disallowance motion put forward by shadow fisheries Minister Deb Frecklington was defeated.
“We are pleased that the legislation is now clear to be implemented and the Government’s election promise has been met”, Mr Bruce Avley, President of AFTA said.
“This decision is a good first step in recognising the positive contribution of recreational fishing to the environment, to the economy and to local communities. It is also a good first step in finding the right balance between using our estuaries for commercial fishing and other community usesincluding recreational fishing, boating and tourism.”
The contribution of recreational fishing to the State economy is already estimated to be around $1billion a year.
“These net free zones will improve our marine environment, bring healthier and abundant fish stocks back to these areas and this will draw recreational fishers from around Australia. As a result the economic contribution from recreational fishing is likely to increase as well, meaning more jobs and more prosperity in these communities.
“We have seen that in the Northern Territory, where estuary netting is banned, recreational fishing is one of the biggest tourist draw cards, bringing in millions of dollars to local communities each year. We are pleased the Queensland Government has recognised the positive benefits arising from recreational fishing and has acted on it.”
“We look forward to working with the Queensland Government in exploring the possibility of introducing more net free zones throughout the state” Mr Alvey concluded.