North Coast Fishers to Take the Bait


A Clarence-based executive of the Professional Fishermen’s Association says a number of north coast operators will get out of the industry if the buy-out terms are favourable.
An independent review has recommended a major restructure to assure the future of the industry.
It blames the failure of the 1994 share scheme and says the expansion of marine parks has reduced wild fish stocks.
John Harrison says many local operators feel they’ve been squeezed out of the industry.
“The industry has been squeezed into such small areas through the establishment of marine parks and particularly recreational-fishing havens along the NSW coast that it is quite difficult for some guys to make a decent living,” he said.
“That’s why we have this need for a structural adjustment of the industry.
“People have had enough, time to move on and do something else or in many cases retire.”
Meanwhile, a north coast conservationist says there’s overwhelming community support for an expansion of Federal Government plans for marine national parks zones along the east coast.
Dailan Pugh says protecting about 30 per cent of the offshore area between Bermagui and Fraser Island would benefit the fishing industry.
“If you put aside some areas where fish can breed, maintain populations, then they’re going to have an overall benefit on fishing in the surrounding areas,” he said.
“It’s a safeguard against population collapse.
“It’s got to be good for everyone, including the fishing industry.”

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