Gillard and pro fishers alike

The Gillard government is set to dud fishermen and their communities, right around Australia by denying them compensation for fishing restrictions imposed in Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s looming vast network of Marine Protected Areas – to be announced after the election.

The government is developing MPA’s right around the Australian coastline out to the 200 nautical mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The MPA’s will include no-take zones that will impact on commercial and recreational fishing.

A secret 2009 report to the Government by consultants MAXimus Solutions recommends that it restrict compensation for affected fishermen to only those few holding statutory fishing rights. Most commercial fishermen operate through licences or permits – which the consultants have said should not be compensated. Recreational fishermen do not get a look in.