Anglers voice concern over marine park plan

Joachim AzzopardiCountryman
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Hundreds of concerned anglers gathered in Perth last week to demonstrate their dismay at the Federal Government's recently unveiled marine park plan.

Fishing legend and Keep Australia Fishing spokesman Rex Hunt flew to Perth to attend the rally held at Langley Park.

Mr Hunt gave an emotion-charged speech criticising Federal politicians for "discriminating" against recreational fishers by trying to lock them out of iconic fishing areas such as Geographe Bay and the Rottnest Trench.

"People from high places are making rules for you people when they don't know what's going on," Mr Hunt said.

"While I'm drawing breath, no bloke in Canberra who doesn't fish can tell me what is going to happen."

Mr Hunt urged concerned fishers to head to the Keep Australia Fishing website to make a submission before September 10 and tell the Federal Government what they thought about the proposed marine parks network.

The attendees at the rally expressed their opinions, with a convoy of towed boats sporting banners with slogans such as Keep Australia Fishing and Don't Lock Us Out.

Recfishwest chief executive Andrew Rowland also addressed the crowd, emphasising that recreational anglers were conservationists at heart.

Dr Rowland said recreational fishers were not against protecting marine habitat with marine parks but they would not tolerate being locked out of iconic fishing areas with no scientific justification.

"If you want to try to lock us out with no reason, you're going to have to answer to us," he said.

Submissions against the marine park plan can be made at <a rel="nofollow" href=""> </a>.

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