Greens are plain wrong on fisheries

THIS is your last chance to halt the insidious spread of marine parks, with fewer than 60 days remaining in the final consultation period for the proposed national network of marine parks covering more than a third of Commonwealth waters.

THIS is your last chance to halt the insidious spread of marine parks, with fewer than 60 days remaining in the final consultation period for the proposed national network of marine parks covering more than a third of Commonwealth waters.

"Australia's fisheries are among the best managed in the world but it seems Minister Burke is committed to doing the Greens' bidding and will push ahead with locking Australians out of Australia, and denying families and fishing businesses access to our abundant fish stocks," the Coalition spokesman on fisheries, Richard Colbeck said.

Using sound science to assess our fish stocks, the Australian Fish Management Authority reveals they are already sustainable, healthy and productive. In fact, they are touted as a sustainable model before the world.

"In contrast, the government's proposed network of marine parks lacks any scientific foundation and is based on the demands of the Greens and environment groups," says Senator Colbeck, and angling lobby groups.

Meantime, evidence was apparently presented at last week's International Coral Reef Symposium that proves marine protected areas provide a "baby bonus" to neighbouring fisheries.

The study was carried out in the Keppel Island group using DNA samples. A team of scientists tracked the dispersal pathways of juvenile coral trout and stripey snappers' larvae to adjoining areas.

They found that a very large proportion of juveniles, 65 per cent, settled in nearby areas that are open to fishing. Of course, this is nothing new, as the currents have carried fish larvae since time immemorial.

Anglers and commercial fishers are united in believing size, bag limit and tackle restrictions are better fisheries management tools than un-Australian lock-outs.

Closer to home, west to north-westerly winds will be the bugbear of blue-water anglers. But with little swell, they're not a bad wind for sitting on the anchor and hanging off a shallow reef or drop-off.

Snapper, kingfish, trevally, morwong, pigfish and big calamari are stationed on the close reefs. Long Reef has produced snapper to 5 kilograms and kingfish along the wall.

Schools of Aussie salmon are easy to find around the headlands, while lure trollers will hook tailor and bonito. Beach fishers are scoring oodles of tailor and salmon, too.

Hawkesbury guide Ron Osman adds that the luderick are about in good numbers in Brisbane Water and doubtless his spots in the Hawkesbury near Brooklyn, where jewfish is being landed.

Cowan Creek still has hairtail - and crowds - but Pittwater is quiet. Target John Dory around the Newport moorings, and bream and flathead in Narrabeen Lake.

But the big news is the Southern bluefin run off Sydney. The fish have been in a frenzy. Another example of environmentalists getting it wrong?