AUSTRALIAN MARINE ALLIANCE MEDIA RELEASE
THE ENVIRONMENT IS THE BIG WINNER FROM TODAYS FEDERAL
COALITION ANNOUNCEMENT OVER MARINE PARKS
The Australian Marine Alliance (AMA) today applauded the leadership of the federal coalition in announcing a renewed effort to bring the Marine Bio-Regional Planning Process (MBPP) back to the stable scientific foundation it was on prior to Labor taking carriage of the process.
Chief Executive of the AMA Dean Logan, “This is truly a historic and courageous announcement that will deliver unprecedented environmental benefits.
“As I speak to over 50 chefs next week in Sydney and dozens of industry leaders across the country on Wednesday and Thursday, the choice is now very clear.
“We can choose to accept a process that horse trades the marine environment for inner city preferences -backed, of course, by misleading brochures, campaigns and advertisements - or we can support the development of a policy framework that delivers a strong independent and scientific outcome.”
Figures released today to the AMA by a leading marine scientist show that the Tony Burke led marine reserve network will close in excess of 34% of Australia’s total EEZ with a staggering projected total impact of approximately 77% of Queensland’s east coast, 36% of this will be totally closed to fishing. Whilst it is difficult to determine the precise amount of area closed, the overall percentage of closures well exceeds the international benchmark of 10% for what many now realize is a negligible environmental benefit. Moreover, Australia imports in-excess of 70% of its total seafood requirement. Within weeks of Minister Burke making the announcement to develop the largest marine reserve network in the world and tell Australian fisherman to ‘sell up’ by seeking compensation, the USA Tuna Purse-Seine fleet cut a $630M deal to catch tuna in the western pacific and a Thailand and Philippine consortium invested millions to can 380 metric tonnes of tuna a day, the very tuna Minster Burke says our fisherman can’t catch.
Mr Logan continued “We say negligible environmental benefit because the scientific evidence is compelling. You deliver far more for the marine environment by managing the environment than you do simply locking it up and throwing the key away.
“UNESCO agrees, arguing recently in Australia, that our marine environment is not threatened by fishing at all, but rather land based externalities like coastal development and nutrient runoff.
“The marine environment deserves strong leadership – not horse trading for political survival.
“You can’t one week implement the largest marine reserve network in the world and lock out fisherman based on ‘environmental principles’ and then the next week allocate hundreds of new oil and gas leases in the same areas as Federal Labor has done.
“We also can’t remember the last time the Australian Greens held a community forum and sat down with fisherman to talk about their industry. Does Christine Milne represent all Australia or just those who happen to agree with the Greens policy?
“The Coalition made a principled decision today. They are clearly the only party committed to working with fisherman, families, industry and communities to protect the marine environment and give this country and the environment the future it deserves,”
Media can contact Dean Logan (AMA) on 0403 195 798
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