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Protecting the living environment of the seas



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NEWS RELEASE

Senator Chris Puplick Shadow Minister for the Environment and Arts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CO M M O N W EA LTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M ICA H !15/89 29 Mav 1989

PROTECTING THE LIVING ENVIRONMENT OF THE SEAS

Widespread calls by environmentalists and our own fishermen for steps to be taken to ban the use of so called

"Killer-nets" in the Pacific must be supported by the Australian Government.

The practice, which is akin to strip mining the ocean, sees vast nylon mesh nets trawled through the ocean scooping everything across a thirty five mile wide front up to forty feet in depth. As well as the fish being harvested, vast

numbers . of dolphins, seals, birds, and other wildlife are caught in the nets and needlessly, indeed wantonly, destroyed. Stocks of immature fish upon which the future of the fishing industry depends are being being destroyed and

the whole future of the industry could thus be put in

jeopardy.

At present these huge gill nets are being used mainly in the North Pacific, but Australia must make it clear that we will take whatever steps we can to prevent their use in our immediate region or in any waters where we have some degree of responsibility or control.

Continued degradation of our marine ecosystem is as threatening as that which is taking place on land. Both must be stopped. All parts of the natural environment need to be treated with respect and the proper use of their resources

integrated with sound policies of conservation and, where possible, rehabilitation.

The Liberal and National Parties call on the Government to declare its public position in opposition to these

unacceptable fishing practices and to make sure that they do not take place within our marine environment.

ENDS