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New Sydney Marine Park Threatens Recreational Fishers

Members of the Gordon’s Bay Amateur Fishing Club fear plans for a new Sydney Marine Park will spell the end of the club.

The club, which is situated between Clovelly and Coogee Beaches, believe the idea to ban all forms of recreational and commercial fishing in a 2028ha stretch of coast between the south end of Bondi beach and the north end of Coogee beach will be the end of the 54-year-old club.

Club secretary Ryan Bellingham told the Daily Telegraph, “People have been members here for more most of their lives and can’t believe the damage this ban will do to the club,”

“Older members say they won’t go past the three nautical mile zone ­because it’s simply too dangerous, especially if the weather turns."

“If this ban comes in then I fear our 70 members will soon stop paying fees,” Mr Bellingham said.

“We could be forced to shut the club down. I can tell the government this; we won’t cop this lying down.”

South Sydney Amateur Fishing Association president Stan Konstantaras, who’s also Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW president, said,  “If this ban goes ahead we could see our membership slashed from 200 to 100 in a few short years,” he said.

“This is hands-down the dumbest thing I have seen in my life. There is no species that we recreationally fish which is under threat.”

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said: “I am not saying fishing is the (major) risk (to the environment). Issues likes water quality and an increasing population means you’ve got more people coming in and wanting to fish”.

“We need to identify sensitive areas and talk about how we manage that,” he said.

“I’m not saying the proposal will be the final outcome.”

The plan is now in a six week “public consultation” phase.

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