Thursday, 28 February 2019

Member for Bega Andrew Constance today announced that the NSW Government was committing to a new large recreational fishing platform in Batemans Bay and more accessibility for recreational fishes in the Batemans marine park.

“I strongly support our recreational and commercial fishing sectors, as demonstrated last year with the announcement of a new artificial reef in the Eurobodalla Shire,” Andrew Constance said.

“Recreational fishers were devastated when Labor and the Greens locked them out of 85% of the best fishing grounds on the Far South Coast.

“Whilst we have already made amendments in recent years to a number of no take zones I am pleased to confirm that the NSW Government is now fast tracking consultation on a number of zones, with the intent of giving fishers greater access.

The NSW Government will fast-track consultation on a range of issues, including opening no take zones such as Montague Island, Brou Lake South, Wagonga Inlet and Nangudga Lake.

“It is a legislative requirement to undertake consultation and the government has determined to move this way quickly,” Andrew Constance said.

“I am also keen to see what can be done on the western side of Toll Gates as well, where a lot of sandy bottom areas are locked away without any reason to do so.

“I know fishers want the marine environment protected and it must be recognised that the greatest threat to the marine environment comes from land based pollution rather than fishing.

Further to this announcement, DPI will issue a research permit to access Sea Urchin barrens shortly.

Due to the environmental impacts of sea urchin barrens, new research on environmental protection and restoration will commence in sections of the Marine Park in March. 

The NSW Government is dredging of the Batemans Bay entrance bar to ensure fishers have improved, safe, all-tide access to the great fishing opportunities and building a new large recreational fishing platform.

“I am also pleased to announce a large new Batemans Bay recreational fishing platform - custom made for fishing with rod holders, fish cleaning and wash down facilities, security lights, toilets, underwater fish attractant lights, and audio visual equipment to monitor responsible fishing,” he said.

The Batemans Marine Park management planning pilot project began in mid-2018. In December 2018 the Marine Park Advisory Committee agreed on their management objectives for improving the marine park, which include: cleaner water, more sustainable tourism and a diverse range of safe and equitable access to the marine park.

“I want to make it clear that unlike Labor, the NSW Government is listening to local Eurobodalla recreational fishers, and so too is the Advisory Committee of the marine park,” Andrew Constance said.