Support Net Free Zones for Cairns and other parts of Queensland

CAFNEC has long supported the introduction of net free areas in sensitive areas and areas subject to heavy human environmental pressure along the Queensland coast.

Proposed outer boundary for the Cairns Net Free Zone

Proposed outer boundary for the Cairns Net Free Zone

We have worked closely with the local recreational fishing group CAREFISH to support the campaign to introduce a net free area for Trinity Inlet (Cairns) and surrounds, as well as other areas. Implementation of net free zones should always be accompanied by appropriate assistance for affected commercial fishers.

CAFNEC helped to achieve an election commitment from the then Labor opposition in Queensland to commit to 3 net free areas in Queensland, including Trinity Bay.  Since the early 2015 election result putting Labor in power in Queensland we are now working with Government and stakeholders to see this promise implemented.

The net-free fishing zones will be established at:

  • Trinity Bay, Cairns
  • St Helens Beach to Cape Hillsborough, north of Mackay
  • Yeppoon/Keppel Bay/Fitzroy River, Capricorn Coast.

2 easy ways to support the net free zones:

  1. Have your say on the Government’s quick consultation survey:
  2. Support the ‘nets out Queensland’ petition put forward by recreational fishers:

Benefits of net free zones

Net Free Zones are areas that are closed to commercial gill net fishing. This reduces the pressure on fish stocks in the area and prevents localised depletion, protects animals that may be caught as bycatch such as dugongs, dolphins and turtles and prevents habitat damage that can result from net operations.

CAFNEC supports removing commercial netting from inshore estuarine areas and areas that already face multiple environmental pressures such as those near larger cities and towns.

Protecting these environments can protect fish nursery areas, increase fish numbers overall and protect populations of dugongs, dolphins and turtles. This in turn can support the fishing, recreational fishing and tourism industries that rely on healthy environments and fish numbers.

Suggestions for what you may say on the consultation survey:

The survey is simple –

  1. Fill out some basic details about yourself then choose if you want to comment on 1 or all 3 of the proposed areas (why not support them all?)
  2. Put your comments into the box provided, as long or as short as you like.

Perhaps you would just like to write a quick comment in support, e.g. :

I support the implementation of the 3 proposed net free areas in Queensland. Net free areas will protect local environment and fish population and benefit habitats and species including dolphins, dugongs and turtles. I support the benefits net free areas will bring to tourism and recreational fishing.

I note that these proposed net free areas are supported actions in the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan. I commend the Government in sticking to it’s election promise and support the implementation of the net free zones without delay.