3 April 2006

Batemans Marine Park... has anyone thought about the Yogi's?

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Whilst bored at work and completely sick of talking about wheat, Dear Auntie (Sorry JB, ABC) came to the rescue this morning with a piece of procrastination gold. Coming from a family that has spent an awful lot of summers down the South Coast, I have heard talk of the Bateman Marine Park(Batemans) for a few years now. The park marine park will extend North to Brush Island (about halfway as the crow flies between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla), and as far South as Bueaty Point. A fair whack of the coast line (about 100km’s according to my dodgy maths). Needless to say, there are soem fairly vital marine ecosystems that will be protected by this new park. particulary from scallop dredges, of which there has been a dramatic increase of late after Sydney Harbour was blocked from commerical fishing after they found out that all the crap and hot air that is spouted from Sydney ultimately ends of in the harbour. Read more about them here.

Anyways, there have been a raft of protest meetings over this issue. Many of the meetings actually held down the coast have revolved around the $8.4 mil buyback of commercial fishing licenses and what recreational use will be alllowed (the jury is still out on this issue). Many people are concerned about what restrictions will be placed on rerecational fishing and wether boats full of half cut, fat punters will still be allowed to cruise the waters chasing flathead, kingfish and the like. After donning my abestos suit and gas mask I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting in Queanbeyan that served as the focus group for all Canberra folk who are interested in having voices heard, and surprisingly the whinging was based over diving and fishing rights, and where Canberrans are going to go to the coast if these activities are not allowed in Batemans.

There have been several moves for the areas economy to start gravitating towards eco tourism and much a kin to pisshead making a bee line for a kebab, this seems to be the first nervous stumble to towards this goal. Watch this space for another cross border drama, that will unfortunately lead to more anti-ACT sentiment down the South coast.

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I would like to comment on a mis-conception held by a lot of people coming from the ACT which I have noticed over the years. Until it is explained in depth people generally think fishing down here is done by trawling methods. Here in Batemans Bay and the areas around, there are other types of professional fishing used. I can’t say I’m for any method of fishing that is destructive to the environment. On the subject of dunes that is a great point where areas sometimes need a chance to regenerate after having pressure put on the natural order of the eco-system. However my point is continue the use the commercial fishing methods of the future. Methods which do not have a damaging impact on the environment. Used in the right ways, mesh netting and haul netting fisheries catch precisely marketable quality fish with minimal bi-catch or damage. Same with lining and trapping on the ocean. These methods catch particular sizes or species of fish and have been proven over the years to be sustainable and virtually zero impact is caused. I’m sure people from the ACT might not approve of professional fishing but it is very important in providing a healthy diet to those who do not have time or the ability to catch their own seafood meals. Shutting down these methods of fishing would be a mistake… think for a second what you are about to consume and where it came from before chewing… because in my upstanding right to be in a great country and to be eating great food… Mekong “fresh from the sewers of Thailand” Catfish will never fit the bill.


yep, you are right…
It won’t affect you – so it must be OK.
Not quite sure how exactly it won’t though. Please share…
It will cost me about $30 in fuel and couple of extra hours on the road to go north or south. I wouldn’t even mind that so much, if I thought it will achieve anything more than secure green preferences for the government.
as for “common sense”, mate listen to yourself and apply liberally.

wievs ? or did you mean wives ?

Cause you sound like one.

Thumper and I regularly hit the coast for a fishing trip, and we have been considering starting a business in BB to catch some of the weekend traffic dollar out of Canberra as well. The marine park will not affect either plan one jot.

Banning fishing is all about restricting access to areas so that they can regenerate, or be a stock for those other areas you have mentioned that you intend to overfish when the marine park is established.

Have you ever walked onto a beach and seen a fenced off dune that has a sign to the effect of ‘dune repair, do not enter’? – Same thing, a resource has been overused, and has to be regenerated.

Apply a dob of common sense and try to leave some fish in the water for everybody else, including your future offspring.

While opinions of thousands of recreational fishermen probably won’t change the outcome of this marine park, we should make our wievs heard.
Banning fishing on a large chunk of the south coast, can only result in increase (of fishing)in the surrounding areas. How can that be good ? More boats at boat ramps, crowds at beaches, rocks and other fishing spots in one place, while there will be other perfectly good spots sitting idle. And not all fishers come from canberra either…what about the local kids or pensioners dropping a line from the Moruya or Narooma jetties. How are they going to get down to Bermagui to (legally)do the same.
Maybe they (and all the rest of us) should just quietly stay at home and slowly get fat(er) watching Harvey Norman ads and other crap on our new digital TV’s.
Wake up people, this government is screwing us, bit by bit by bit and we are just letting them. Let’s protest…let’s fight ! NOW ! Before it is too late.

No need for national parks – just sell the entire coast to Maquarie Bank.

Batemans Bay already has the required Toll Gate islands.

just becuase you make an area a marine park doesn’t mean you need to ban fishing and diving

what it may mean is that there will be areas where you are not allowed to go fishing in order to protect diversity of life in teh area or just to protect a specific species in an area

a good example of this is grey nurse sharks who hang around in the same area, are endangered and get caught by fishermen by mistake, not allowing fishing in those specific areas would benefit the sharks, and there are plenty of other places to go fishing that won’t be protected (and the fish are biting just as much)

The councils get money from land tax etc, but the small businesses make their dough serving the visitors directly.


The beer belly shot was at the blokes I go fishing with. A majority of the money from ACT coffers flowing into the councils down on the coast actually come from land tax and rates from those who have holiday houses down there.

Since whales are only around for a couple of months each year and not everyone can don a wesuit to swim with the seals (and great white sharks), I can’t see ecotourism being a viable replacement for the huge recreational fishing industry at the Bay.

The stereotype of recreational anglers as beer-bellied pissheads is obviously designed to provoke a reaction, but the truth is they bring a huge amount of money into the South Coast.

As far as commerical fishing goes, the trawlers will either go north or south, or further our to sea (which i suspect is the plan). This park is more about protecting the natural ecosystems rather than stopping folks having fun. There will be areas where recreational fishing and diving may be able to take place, but they are still in discussion as I understand it.

as long as they come up with a concept that allows fair use for everyone, theres no point banning all recreational fishing coz then they’ll just get up in arms and want to ban all diving

so will anyone still be able to buy fresh fish and chips in the bay after this, or will you have to catch your own?

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