The Future of Fishing is on the Line

Over twenty businesses and groups call for phasing out recreational gillnets. 

MEDIA RELEASE

Over twenty fishing, tourism, dive and conservation businesses and organizations have signed onto a Statement of Support for the phase out of recreational gillnets in Tasmania. The Statement is being launched today, in response to the state government review of the Scalefish Management Plan, where restrictions on gillnet use are being proposed.

“Over twenty fishing, tourism, dive and conservation businesses and organizations have joined the call for phasing out recreational gillnets in Tasmania because our fisheries and marine life are too precious to be wasted,” said Rebecca Hubbard, Marine Coordinator of Environment Tasmania.

“We can no longer allow one third of fish caught to be dumped and for wildlife that form the basis of world-class nature tourism businesses to be unnecessarily killed. Phasing out recreational gillnets will help to secure the future of our businesses, island lifestyle, and a healthy coastal environment,” said Ms Hubbard.

“I have a business that relies on the incredible diversity of Tasmania’s unique marine life. People come from all over the world to enjoy our famous nature tourism experiences, but gillnets do irreparable damage to that reputation. There is nothing worse than stumbling over ghost nets filled with wasted fish,” said Mick Baron of Eaglehawk Dive Centre.

“Many of the old fishers and fishing businesses also support the phase out of recreational gillnets because some of our key fish stocks like Bastard Trumpeter, Banded Morwong and Blue Warehou have declined so much. The future of fishing is on the line,” said Mr Baron.

“Areas that have banned gillnetting in Tasmania like Georges Bay have experienced an increase in fish abundance, so not only does the marine environment get healthier, but the fishing gets better too," concluded Ms Hubbard. "Our businesses and organisations urge the Tasmanian Government to phase out recreational gillnets and ensure we can all enjoy the benefits of a healthier, more abundant and productive Tasmanian coast for the future."

The following businesses and organizations call for the phase out of recreational gillnets from Tasmanian waters by November 2016: 

TasFish

Environment Tasmania 

Anchor Wetsuits Tassie

Flinders Island Dive

Scuba Education Services

Wild Ocean Tasmania

Tamar Marine Pty Ltd.

Bruny Island Experience

Eaglehawk Dive Centre

BirdLife Tasmania

East Coast Scuba Centre

East Lines St Helens

Devonport Anglers Club

Tasmanian Conservation Trust

Stanley Seaquarium

Southern Ocean Charters

Dunalley Fish Market

Australian Marine Conservation Society

Tasmanian Sub Aqua Club

Bruny Island Environment Network

Ocean Planet Tasmania

Spirit of Bruny