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Groper fishing ban is ‘fisheries management at its worst’


New legislation banning anglers from fishing for blue groper in New South Wales, Australia, has been branded “fisheries management at its worst.”

The ban outlaws all recreational anglers from targeting the species and introduces a $500 penalty notice, or a maximum fine of $22,000 or six months in prison, while a second offence would incur a $44,000 fine or 12 months in prison.

The rule has been implemented for 12 months while the state government considers longer-term changes to blue groper fishing, with Agriculture (Fisheries) Minister Tara Moriarty saying the fish were to be admired not targeted.

But speaking to Fishing World, Recreational Fishing Alliance NSW President Stan Konstantaras (pictured) said there is a complete lack of justification in the move and that it had been introduced to appease the animal welfare lobby. “Groper are thriving,” he said. “This is fisheries management at its worst.

“It opens the door to more NSW Government sanctioned attacks on recreational fishers from the fringe animal welfare lobby. It is the worst decision we have seen for years.”

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party spokesman Mark Banasiak said the ban was “misguided and a complete betrayal.”

“There has been zero communication with fishers, industry stakeholders or advisory groups. There are over 390,000 recreational fishing license holders in NSW and every single one of them should feel betrayed,” he told Fishing World.

“It’s time for a change. We will be pushing forward with our bill to create a statutory authority for the recreational fishing sector, as well as a dedicated minister for fisheries who genuinely has the interests of fishers at heart.”

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