Seafood industry opposes Greens’ ban on Coral Sea fishing

The Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) has opposed the Greens policy to ban fishing in all Australian waters in the Coral Sea, saying it is “irresponsible."

“In the increasingly hungry world of the 21st Century, where food security is so important, to simply lock away a vast area like the Coral Sea is irresponsible,” QSIA President Michael Gardner said.

“The area of water the Greens are talking about covers one million square kilometres – that’s equivalent to well over half the entire land area of the State of Queensland, which is around 1.7 million square kilometres – so it is a vast, vast area. Yet, the Greens will simply lock that away as a source of future food supply to Australia and the world.”

QSIA President Michael Gardner said the Greens’ decision reflected the influence of foreign multi-nationals in determining Greens policy.

“The Greens policy, to ban all commercial fishing throughout the entire Australian 200-mile zone in the Coral Sea meets the demands of foreign multi-nationals like the US based Pew group and the Swiss-based World Wildlife Fund (WWF),” Mr Gardner said.

“Pew is a $5 billion conglomerate with staff and offices all over the world and WWF has a $500-million-a-year turnover plus staff round the globe, so big businesses like these are able to throw enormous financial and staff resources into trying to influence public opinion and, in turn, the policies of political parties.”

Mr Gardner said the Greens’ policy was “simplistic” and “one-dimensional.”

“Australia has highly sophisticated fisheries management and to suggest the only way to adequately protect marine life is to lock up an area and throw away the key is nonsense.

“A far more sophisticated approach – and the policy position that has to be adopted by political parties that actually expect to form government – is to provide appropriate levels of protection to the marine environment while allowing sustainable harvest of seafood.”

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