Ron Boswell.
Ron Boswell.

Boswell speaks out on fishing ban

THE Greens want all forms of fishing banned across at least 30 per cent of the vast network of marine reserves now being planned by Labor’s Environment Minister Peter Garrett, Senator Ron Boswell said, adding that it was likely they would get their wish if they won control of the Senate.

Sen Boswell said carefully placed closures on this scale would almost certainly put most, if not all, of Australia’s fishing fleet out of business as well as having huge impacts on recreational fishing.

“The Gillard government is considering closures in 27 areas right around the Australian coastline out to the edge of the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone and wants a network of marine protected areas covering 41 distinct bioregions,” he said.

“The Greens are widely tipped to hold the balance of power in the Senate after the election because of a backlash against the ALP from the left.”

Senator Boswell said there was already ample evidence that Minister Garrett, a former president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and an ex-rock star, was prepared to do the bidding of the Greens at virtually every and any turn.

He said Minister Garrett had abused the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act by declaring one million square kilometres of the Coral Sea a conservation zone after discussions with only the US-based green organisation the PEW Foundation, and the Australian Conservation Foundation.

No other stakeholder was consulted.

Senator Boswell said the declaration, using the emergency interim protection measures of the could not be justified by the Minister.

“All existing uses were allowed to continue and no longer-term threat had ever been nominated by the Minister.

“Use of the Act to declare such an interim protection regime requires identification of a threat sufficient to justify it. The sole specific threat Minister Garrett has identified is ocean acidification, which is outside the reach of a long term let alone interim protection measure,” he said.

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