Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) has welcomed commitments from the Labor party regarding fisheries management contained in a document entitled “Sustainable fishing, Labor’s plan for fishing in Queensland” released yesterday.

CAFNEC Marine Programs Coordinator Josh Coates said:

“A highlight of the policy document for us was the clear commitment to establishment of a Net Free Area for Cairns if Labor forms Government. Both the the recreational fishing community and CAFNEC have been calling for this for years.

A Net Free Area for Cairns would be a massive boon to the recreational fishing community, fishing tourism and importantly contribute to fish stock recovery.

Commercial netting near large population centres is an outdated practice and does not represent the most sustainable or sensible way to manage fisheries in the modern age. The policy makes clear that money will be allocated to compensate affected commercial fishers.

Labor has released a policy that goes some way to addressing concerns around fishing in Queensland, though detail is lacking. However we are pleased to see that Labor is listening to the recreational fishing sector and the local environment group in supporting a net free area for Cairns.

The only party now that is not supporting a Cairns Net Free Area is the LNP.

A similar call for a Port Douglas Net Free Area is not directly addressed in this policy document but the commitment to establish 3 such areas (including one off Cairns) and to then look at other areas is a welcome step in the right direction.”

Media contact: Josh Coates, Marine Programs Coordinator, (07) 4032 1586, marine [at]

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