Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Thu 27 Oct 2011



The Northern Territory news Thu 27 Oct 2011

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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26 NT NEWS. Thursday, October 27, 2011. www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 2 7 -O C T -2 0 1 1 P A G E : 2 6 C O L O R : C M Y K No-go zones?Noway! Johnathon Brock, visiting from NSW, went home with a terrific memory after catching a magnificent 109cm barra on a Bolt Mystique lure This juvenile amberjack, a most-unusual catch for Top End waters, was caught near the Peron Islands by Pat Tait, fishing with Trevor Robb The NT News front page on the issue last week LAST week, the Australian Marine Conservation Society/Pew Trust consortium released its recreational fishing no-go, no-take zone wish list, called Underwater Icons of Northern Australia. Its fair to say that the reaction that followed from recreational fishers, the general community, NT politicians and many interstate interested parties has been nothing short of overwhelming. Chris Makepeace, from AFANT, told me that the call for nine more no-go no-take zones off the Territory coast, instead of the single zone above Gove Peninsula proposed by the Commonwealth Government, has resulted in more than 30 pages of comments from individual fishers and members of the community that will form part of AFANTs submission to Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke. It adds significant strength to our submission there should be no further areas closed to recreational fishing because these are real Territorians speaking from the heart and not some southern do-gooders pushing computer buttons to send form letters pre-written by extreme conservation groups, Chris said. This is the same sort of ill-informed activity that devastated the live cattle export business up here and people in the Territory are not going to take it this time. People were very angry at calls to close Fog Bay, the area on the other side of the Bathurst Trench, more areas around the Wessel Islands, areas around the Gove Peninsula, waters around Groote Eylandt, the Limmen Bight and a number of other areas off the Territory coast. Territory politicians from both sides of the fence joined together to reject the proposal and the media coverage has been considerable. Really, there is nowhere else in Australia where the reaction of anglers to the nonsensical call for no-fish zones has been embraced so strongly by the media. The NT News front page lead last week after the call was made by the so-called conservation movement was outstanding. It made me proud to be a Territorian. That heading FISH BAN PLAN anglers vow to fight no-go zones sent a loud message to everyone with the potential to have two bob in this. It seems it certainly got the right reaction from Canberra. It was good that, here in the Territory, NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson said publicly: Theres no need for these closures. The NT has one of the best-managed fishery resources in the world. NT Fisheries Minister Kon Vatskalis also said he was stunned at the Australian Marine Conservation Societys call to establish no-go no-take areas right around our coast. I will support our fishermen and categorically state the NT Government will never support these wide scale proposed fishing bans in the Territory, he said. Good on Kon as he is always right up front supporting our world-class recreational fishery and how it should be left to Territorians to manage properly. NT opposition fisheries spokesperson, Kezia Purick, also opposed the proposal. Kezia is a born-and-bred Territorian, and she can catch a fish, I can tell you. For the AMCS to now want to step outside the recently-released North Bioregional Plan, which identified only one area off the Territory coast to the north of Nhulunbuy which required protection, is outrageous, Kezia said. When it comes to politicians who know their way around a fish, I doubt there would be anyone in Australia who could hold a candle to ex commercial mackerel fisherman and charter boat operator, Senator Nigel Scullion. This is what he had to say: This idea by The Australian Marine Conservation Society to establish 12 no-go no-take zones off the NT coast is just absurd. The green groups behind this push wont stop until all waters are covered by no-go zones and they will destroy both recreational, and the important commerc ial fishing industry, Senator Scullion said. NT MHR Natasha Griggs said: I dont want the future of recreational fishing in the Territory to be the sacrificial lamb in any power deals between the Greens and Labor. I do not want to see any threat to the enjoyment of recreational fishing in the Northern Territory. At a welcome reception for delegates at the annual conference of the Game Fishing Association of Australia in Darwin last Friday, Mr Vatskalis told guests that the NT Government would not support any expansion of the current proposed marine plan, and that probably indicates the Commonwealth Government is unlikely to seek major increase in no-take zones. Old mate Peter Davies, of Radio 104.9, and this newspaper have organised a protest against the call to create more no-fish zones. Show your support by launching your boat on the morning of Saturday, November 5 and assembling around the Stokes Hill Wharf at 11am.