News

QLD slaps bizarre ban on 3 popular fish

Posted on 17 December 2010 by Robert Borsak

It seems one gets you three in Queensland.

The State government has just announced that all fishers will be banned from catching snapper, teraglin and pearl perch from February 15 to March 31 in 2011. But they’re selling it as a snapper ban only.

It’s like saying “We’re banning the eating of chocolate ice cream for six weeks. And we’re also banning you from eating strawberry and vanilla in case you eat chocolate by mistake.” It’s the Nanny State gone mad.

The interim ban takes effect while the state government decides what permanent measures it will enforce to boost snapper stocks, which it says are depleted.

Why on earth didn’t they work this out first, before disrupting the summer recreation and business activities of thousands of people?

According to two of the four options now out for public consultation, recreational fishing enthusiasts should face mandatory or voluntary logbook rules and a $70 or $90 permit fee to catch snapper.

The most bizarre aspect of the ban is the closure of two other healthy fish stocks – teraglin and pearl perch – in case people fishing for those species catch a snapper by mistake.

So it’s not a snapper ban – it’s a snapper, teraglin and pearl perch ban. Where do these people get off?

Unlike the Brisbane Times, whose coverage of the ban pictures fish that aren’t snapper, recreational and professional fishers can tell the difference between the three species. [http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/fishermen-snap-at-looming-bans-20101214-18wkn.html#poll]

So what’s the science behind it? Pretty thin.

The policy document behind the QLD Government’s ban the “Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery Document” acknowledges some groups were concerned about the reliability of the snapper assessments, but cites a finding by an advisory firm that claims of overfishing were “plausible”.

Earth being visited by aliens is plausible. It’s plausible that Kristina Keneally might win the next NSW State Election. But you wouldn’t bet your life on either event.

Naturally the Greens are happy: another unscientific ban has been enacted. As fishers, we want to practice sustainable fishing, but we want our sport to be managed by verified scientific fact, not political point scoring.

You can bet their NSW Labor Government cousins will be looking for similar “Three for the political price of one” bans to win Green votes.

The best way to stop this madness is to use your vote to ban the bans on March 26 2011 and vote for The Shooters And Fishers Party.

 

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