Case Study: Fisheries v. Marine Park (Australia)

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 10 Jan 1995 15:55:22

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Case Study: Fisheries v. Marine Park (Australia)
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   By Christopher Lines of AAP
   ADELAIDE, Jan 10 AAP - The fishing industry must not be allowed
to prevent the creation of a Great Australian Bight Marine Park, a
whale welfare spokesman said today.
   Les McDiarmid of the South Australian Whale Centre called for
greater protection from humans and the establishment of the
proposed marine park despite the objections of the South Australian
Fishing Industry Council.
   The proposal for the park, which would be the state's first
marine park, consist of a twenty kilometre exclusion zone in whale
breeding areas.
   The creation of the park has stalled in the office of State
Primary Industries Minister Dale Baker and the fishing industry
have now come out against the move despite having originally
supported the concept.
   "The whales do not have appropriate protection and they do not
have a refuge, despite both stronger regulations and a sanctuary
proposal having been prepared and presented by departmental staff
to their relevant government ministers for some months now," Mr
McDiarmid said.
   "The benefits to South Australia of looking after the whales
vastly outweigh all other interests.
   "Besides our moral duty to safeguard their survival, the
potential exists for them to make a major contribution to our
burgeoning ecotourism industry.
   "An industry which, unlike the fishing industry, is both
environmentally friendly and sustainable," he said.
   Mr McDiarmid has also called for the whales to be granted
greater protection from sightseers when they return to popular
viewing spots in May.
   He called for greater powers for Fisheries Officers and stricter
guidelines to prevent helicopters, boats and even swimmers from
getting too close to the mammals.
   "In South Australian waters they will again be virtually
unprotected from harassment and countless hazards, because we do
not have strong enough regulations for NPWS and Fisheries Officers
to prosecute wrongdoers," he said.
   About 100 to 200 of the world's Southern Right Wales visit the
South Australian coastline during the cooler months, with many of
them in the proposed park area where 30 calves were born last year.
   Up to half of all whale calves die in their first year, with
many of them from human interference including collisions with
vessels, entaglement in fishing equipment and ingestion of litter.