Richard Wilson at Keppel Bay Marina. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Richard Wilson at Keppel Bay Marina. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Capricorn fishermen want regional management system trial

COMMERCIAL and recreational fishermen in the Capricorn region are working together to redress green zones they say are hurting both sectors.

Commercial fisherman, Dave Swindells has lived in the area his whole life and said exclusion zones were pushing commercial fishermen into smaller areas, reducing stocks and incomes and adding to other pressures on the $3 billion industry.

LNP candidate for Capricornia, Michelle Landry supported his view and said there needed to be a balance between sustaining fish stocks into the future and supporting the industry.

She invited Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, Senator Richard Colbeck, to meet with Mr Swindells and other fishermen at Rosslyn Bay yesterday. One of these was Graham Scott who has proposed a regional management model be trialled.

Mr Scott, a former chair of Capricorn Coast Local Area Marine Advisory Committee to GBRMPA, said there needed to be a lot more regional management, especially with inshore fisheries where there was more interaction between the recreational and commercial industries.

He said there was good support for some green zones which provided a benchmark to show how well areas were faring compared with what they could be.

Mr Swindells supported a regional management trial and said 95% of recreational and commercial interests were the same, with both relying on access and sustainable fish stocks.

In the Capricorn region where the level of cooperation is very high, both sectors are involved with tagging fish , monitoring stocks and collecting data.

"If someone wants to have a go at a trial, pick us. Pick this area," said Mr Scott.

What is a Green Zone?

Green zones are marine national parks.

Recreational activities are permitted but fishing and bait gathering are not.

Yellow zones are conservation parks where recreational fishing is generally allowed but netting and trawling are banned.