Subject: Case Study:Dugong & Fishermen threaten legal (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 14:07:19 -0400 (EDT)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 97 11:35:00 GMT 
Subject: QLD: Fishermen threaten legal

QLD: Fishermen threaten legal action over fishing ban

   BRISBANE, April 15 AAP - The Queensland Commercial Fishermen's
Organisation (QCFO) has threatened legal action against the federal
government over its decision to ban net fishing in Shoalwater Bay
in north Queensland.
   Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill announced the ban last
month as part of a strategy developed by the Great Barrier Reef
Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to stem declining dugong numbers in
the region.
   QCFO president Ted Loveday said fishermen were sick and tired of
government agencies arbitrarily legislating away their livelihoods.
   "Several fishing families will be wiped out financially and many
others will be severely affected by this decision," he said.
   "Once again we are being forced to look to the courts to seek a
fair deal."
   He said commercial fishermen were awarded $1 million in
compensation in 1995 after they took the former state government to
court over a decision to close the Pumicestone Passage in
south-east Queensland to commercial fishing.
   "Commercial fishermen acknowledge they have an obligation to
take whatever action is necessary to protect dugong, and have
developed a comprehensive dugong conservation strategy," he said.
   "This strategy includes a wide range of restrictions having a
significant impact on fishermen's livelihoods, and at no cost to
   But he said the GBRMPA had denied fishermen the opportunity to
implement their strategy.
   Mr Loveday said the QCFO had formally raised the question of
compensation and the impact of the net fishing ban with the federal
government and the GBRMPA but had received no response.
   "It is unacceptable for government agencies to simply push all
of the cost of actions taken on behalf of the broader community
onto individual families and businessess, letting them suffer
extreme hardship or go broke," he said.