Greens Pool ban angers fishers

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An MP and fishing groups opposed to the State Government’s fishing ban at Greens Pool have called the prohibition short-sighted.

Shooters and Fishers WA MLC Rick Mazza submitted a motion in Parliament last week disallowing the December 2018 ban on fishing from the popular spot.

As a result of that motion, residents have until May 9 to contact their local MP to put their views to the State Government.

In it, Mr Mazza questioned the rationale for the ban, alleging it placed too much importance in a 960-signature petition opposing fishing at the spot.

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He said a year-round ban unnecessarily prohibited fishing at the spot even at the height of winter when there were no swimmers.

That sentiment was shared by fishing groups including Recfishwest and Western Angler magazine.

Recfishwest development officer Matt Gillett, whose organisation represents 740,000 fishers across WA, said the State Government’s announcement was a shock.

“We weren’t consulted and the community wasn’t consulted appropriately,” he said.

“We are supportive of balanced measures, but in this case we don’t think banning fishing for the entire year was appropriate.”

However Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly defended the move, claiming the State had received strong support for the ban.

“Greens Pool is used year round by swimmers and snorkellers and is an increasingly popular location for tourists,” he said.

“With safe recreational fishing locations close by, this closure to fishing to manage resource sharing issues is a common-sense move.”

Mr Kelly said alternative fishing spots such as Elephant Rocks, Waterfalls and Madfish Bay were available for fishers.

“The conflict between recreational line and spear fishing and swimmers at this location has been ongoing for many years,” he said.

The Minister said a 2013 Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions report recommended addressing potential conflicts between fishers and swimmers at the popular swimming attraction.

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