The New South Wales (NSW) government has allowed anglers to permanently fish in marine parks where some species are at risk of extinction.
Opponents say the plan to allow fishing in areas previously designated as no-take zones was introduced without consultation in March 2013 initially for a six-month period. The six-month ‘amnesty’ as it was called was introduced without scientific baselines in place to gauge its impact, even though fishing put some species at risk and even though scientists said it could be an ‘absolute disaster’ in some areas that had previously been protected.
Scientists are calling for the amnesty to be halted to allow experts to determine the impacts so far – and make the findings public. Many believe biodiversity in areas affected by the amnesty has been seriously impacted.
The amnesty puts at risk species including the Grey Nurse Shark - which faces imminent extinction and the Weedy Sea Dragon - which is in serious decline. Other species that are in trouble include the Eastern Red Scorpion fish, the Eastern Blue Groper and the Rock Blackfish whose stocks are undefined.
More than 220 marine scientists from Australia and overseas called for a full restoration of the protected marine parks.
Marine parks are the most effective way to protect marine life, especially species at risk of extinction. Please sign the petition and demand that the NSW government removes the amnesty and ends fishing in marine parks.