NSW anglers say ‘Don’t Lock Us Out!’

Media Release 24 August 2018

The Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) and the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFA) are dismayed by the NSW Government’s plan for a marine park that will restrict public angling on 25 sites between Newcastle and Wollongong. AFTA and the RFA say that NSW’s 850,000 anglers will be locked out of public fishing spots without justification. The NSW Government and the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority should rethink the plan to ensure ongoing access to waterways for NSW recreational anglers.

There is no justification for any areas to be ‘locked up’ in sanctuary and conservation zones which take away safe, accessible and sustainable fishing locations from recreational anglers. The NSW Government must maintain fishing access for recreational anglers including the young, elderly and those with a disability. Recreational fishing poses no threat when compared to other processes such as pollution, foreshore development and sewage outfalls.

Further restrictions will reduce opportunities for the public to enjoy the physical and mental wellbeing offered by recreational fishing.

There will be significant social and economic implications for communities and businesses that support recreational fishing in these areas. Such decisions should only be taken if there is a sound scientific and economic rationale. In most cases in the proposed marine park plan, there is no scientific justification and no economic assessment of the impacts.

The clear message from NSW recreational anglers to the Government is ‘Don’t Lock Us Out!’

What are the alternatives to recreational fishing lockouts?

  • Stopping pollution getting into our waterways, especially run-off from urban drains and sewage. Marine sanctuaries and marine parks are not immune from pollution, storm water run-off, microplastics and introduced pest species. All these are far more devastating than well-regulated recreational fishing. Sydney Water is still pumping toxic sewage into the ocean through deep-water ocean outfalls and allowing untreated urban drain overflow into many locations within the Harbour.
  • Working with recreational anglers to develop cooperative management of our marine resources. Effective bag and size limits and seasonal closures in fish breeding seasons have always been welcomed by anglers.
  • Increasing the monitoring, enforcement of regulations and penalties that affect the marine environment, including pollution, habitat destruction and loss of public access rights.


For further information contact:

Stan Konstantaras, President, Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW,  0407 131 714, email president@rfansw.com.au.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW, formed in 2000, is the peak representative body for recreational fishers in NSW, dedicated to accessible, sustainable and safe recreational fishing in NSW. We represent the interests of anglers in the management of the State’s recreational fisheries, promote sustainable fishing practices, encourage the participation of children, help secure rights to fishing access, encourage recreational anglers to become involved in the well-being of the fishery, promote fishing safety, and promote consultation and communication between government and anglers.

Colin Tannahill, President, Australian Fishing Trade Association, 02 6282 8500.

The Australian Fishing Trade Association was formed in the early 1980s by wholesalers, distributers and manufacturers of fishing tackle. It is dedicated to ensuring a strong future for recreational fishing and the fishing industry, advocating on key issues as well as supporting sustainable angling and promoting recreational fishing as a family sport in which all Australians can be involved. We are the peak body representing Australia’s fishing tackle industry, recognised by state and federal Government as a major stakeholder.


Australia’s tackle industry supports Government’s marine reserve plans


The Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), the national organisation representing the suppliers of goods and services to Australia’s 5 million recreational fishers has welcomed the release of the latest plans for the Commonwealth Marine Reserve system.

AFTA CEO Allan Hansard said, “These plans are a significant advancement on the plans released by the previous Government that would have seen Australia’s recreational fishers locked out of over 1.3 million square kilometres of our seas. This would have had significant negative effects on millions of recreational fishers, hundreds of local communities and thousands of local businesses.

“We are pleased to see the Government’s new plans adopt a balanced approach. On one hand they are ensuring our unique marine environment is protected to a worldleading standard, while on the other hand they are ensuring the local communities that support our unique marine environment are also protected.

“We are particularly pleased to see many of Australia’s iconic and world-renowned fishing spots will still be accessible to sustainable recreational fishing into the future.

“If the new plans are appropriately implemented and managed with involvement of the recreational fishing sector, we will not only have a marine reserve system that truly and practically protects our marine environment but we will actually see increases in recreational fishing opportunities and growth in local communities and businesses that support our marine environment. This would be a great outcome for all Australians.

“We have seen a lot of scaremongering from the strong anti fishing lobby since the Government released the plans. This is disappointing as their support for large scale ‘lock outs’ is more about stopping Australia’s best-loved leisure/ sporting activity than achieving good marine conservation outcomes.

“We look forward to working with the Government to achieve a marine reserve network worthy of our unique marine environment and one all Australians can be proud of and share in” Mr Hansard concluded.\

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