Member for North West Central Vince Catania MLA and Member for Mining and Pastoral Jacqui Boydell MLC have applauded the Gascoyne community for its activism and tenacity in opposing a proposal to reintroduce fish traps in the region.
“Earlier this week I was proud to table a petition in the State Parliament which contained more than 2200 signatures which were collected in just over four weeks from across Gascoyne,” Ms Boydell said.
“This figure excludes the additional 1842 signatures received online which brought the total number of signatures to over 4000.”
Ms Boydell said the incredible response was indicative of the importance of this issue to the Gascoyne community.
Vince, who spearheaded the campaign and initiated both petitions, said he was delighted with the response.
“From the moment this issue was raised, the Gascoyne community was united and vocal in their opposition to the reintroduction of fish traps,” Vince said.
“It’s clear this is a community that is willing to stand up for what they believe in.”
In addition to the 4000 signatures received, a further 250 submissions were made to Recfishwest, and more than 400 locals attended a meeting in Carnarvon to share their feedback.
The community submission period has closed and Recfishwest will now present a consolidated position to Government.
“Fish traps belong in the last century, we now fish for the future,” Vince said.
“The community has raised a number of environmental concerns, including the depletion of fish stocks in recreational fishing areas where fish traps are used by commercial fishers to fill their quotas.
“Further concerns include the unacceptable risk of traps being lost and fishing “forever”; the potential to damage to juvenile fish as the traps are raised and as juveniles are released at the surface; and the potentially negative impact on recreational fishing areas.”
Vince said recreational Fishing was an important pastime for both visitors and locals in the Gascoyne Region.
“This proposal has the potential to decimate recreational fishing, resulting in significant economic losses in the recreational fishing and tourism sector,” Vince said.
Vince said tabling the petition in the State Parliament may now trigger a Parliamentary inquiry.
“We are not going to let this rest,” Ms Boydell said.
“Vince and I will continue to stand up for the Gascoyne community to stop this trial from taking place.”