Country Liberals take stand against “no-go” fishing zones
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory Senator Nigel Scullion and the Federal Member for Solomon Natasha Griggs will fight a bid by conservationists to close vast stretches of Territory coastal waters.
“This idea by The Australian Marine Conservation Society to establish 12 “no-go no-take” zones off the NT coast is just absurd,” Senator Scullion said.
“The green groups behind this push won’t stop until all waters are covered by no-go zones and they will destroy both recreational and the important commercial fishing industry
“The Australian Marine Conservation Society spokesperson claims only one per cent of our waters are protected – that is wrong.
“One hundred per cent of our waters are protected under a variety of acts such as the Northern Territory Marine Act, the Fisheries Act, the Maritime Safety Act as well as acts on gas and oil mining in northern maritime waters.
“There are already layers of protection,” Senator Scullion said.
At the last election, Natasha Griggs made it very clear that she supported Territory fisherman and their recreational habits. Her position has not changed and she vows to fight to protect fishing in the Northern Territory alongside her Senate colleague Nigel Scullion.
“I don’t want the future of recreational fishing in the Territory to be the sacrificial lamb in any power deals between the Greens and Labor,” Mrs Griggs said.
“As a Territorian I do not want to see any threat to the enjoyment of recreational fishing in the Northern Territory – it is our way of life.
“The Country Liberals promise to do all they can to protect fishing in the Northern Territory.
“Territory tourism figures are already down for this year. We don’t need recreational fishing to suffer as well,” Mrs Griggs said.
Senator Scullion agreed and asked the question “What are we protecting our waters from?”
“I think we need protection from green fundamentalists and their flawed ideas,” Senator Scullion said.
“The plan to make areas “no-go” zones doesn’t work – it will concentrate fishing in other areas and make them unsustainable in the long run.
“The Coalition’s policy at the last election was to put on hold, and then restructure, the Marine Bioregional Planning process and base Marine Protected Areas on science, not just a green take and plunder plan.
“As a former commercial fisherman and recreational charter operator who used to make my living from the sea and still love to chuck in a line when I can, I will fight this tooth and nail,” Senator Scullion said.