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Reply from Fisheries Minister on Club's Submission to the on Proposals for the Cottesloe Fish Habitat Protection Area.

This reply is in response to our letter to the Minister for Fisheries about proposals by the Cottesloe Marine Sanctuary Committee calling for extra restrictions which would effectively make two kilometres of the Cottesloe Fish Habitat Protection Area shoreline and 800 metres out to sea into a Sanctuary area, which would prohibit all recreational line fishing in this area.

Ref: 8-4876

Mr T Fuller
Surf Casting and Angling Club of WA (Inc)
P0 Box 2032 MARMION WA 6020

The Club owns an air conditioned holiday house at Kalbarri which is available for rent to the public and club members at competitive rates

Dear Mr Fuller

Thank you for your letter of 20 January expressing concern about the Cottesloe Marine Sanctuary Committee's support for a total ban on recreational line fishing between the Cottesloe groyne and the Mosman Cable Station.

The original proposal put forward by the Cottesloe Marine Protection Group (CMPG) included a proposed ban on all fishing from boats south of the groyne. After considering all of the submissions on the CMPG proposal, I determined that some limited recreational fishing activity should continue.

In allowing recreational line fishing to continue, it was recognised that recreational fishers generally target open water shoal fish such as herring, tailor and whiting which swim into and out. of the Cottesloe Fish Habitat Protection Area (FHPA) continuously. I do not believe that the banning of recreational fishing for these species would have been acceptable to the entire community and would not have provided any significant increase in the protection of fish habitat.

It should be noted that the vast majority of resident reef fish and other organisms such as coral, sponges, sea anemones and sea dragons are totally protected within the FHPA. I believe that this level of protection is adequate and that we can expect to see an increase in the biodiversity of the Cottesloe Reef System in future years.

The Department of Fisheries received almost 1,000 submissions on the draft Plan of Management and the overwhelming majority were supportive. I understand that the Cottesloe Marine Sanctuary Committee wish to have all fishing banned in the area, but I do not believe this would be acceptable to the wider community at this stage. I am not prepared to consider a ban on recreational fishing within the FHPA unless on-going monitoring, instigated as a result of management strategies contained within the Plan of Management for the FHPA, clearly indicates that this is a necessary step in order to preserve fish stocks and the marine ecosystem of the area.

Thank you for your interest in this issue.

Yours sincerely

Kim Chance MLC

4 February 2002

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This page last updated 7 February 2002.

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