Peel fishers pledge to help water health
Released 12 May 2008
Mandurah's professional fishers have pledged to further improve their environmental performance to help protect the Peel-Harvey Estuary.
Bruce Tatham from the Mandurah Licenced Fishers Association told a packed audience at the latest Peel Waterways Centre public seminar the fishing industry was 'the eyes and ears' about what was happening to the marine environment in the region.
In a blunt assessment, Mr Tatham told the packed audience that professional fishing practices of the past had been environmental vandalism but had vastly improved in recent decades.
"What we're now about is sustainability," Mr Tatham said.
"We instituted changes to eliminate all by-catch so now we throw nothing away. We know we have to keep improving because protecting the environment is how we can protect our industry."
Mr Tatham said the industry would soon begin developing a new Environmental Management System to ensure that fishing remains central to the region's future.
"There's a huge tourism potential for the Peel-Harvey region," he said.
"Crabs and quality seafood are an iconic part of our region so without a sustainable fishing industry that potential is not going to be realised."
Peel Waterways Centre Manager Bob Pond said he was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout with more than 40 people attending the seminar.
"It just goes to show that the community is very passionate about fishing and the health of the local estuaries and rivers," Mr Pond said.
"This was one of the biggest audiences we have had at this regular seminar series and that confirms the public really values these opportunities to talk to the local experts.
"I think the community heard a very positive and reassuring message from the professional fishing industry."
Mr Pond said he was expecting a similar turnout at the Centre's next seminar on May 29 when the latest Peel Inlet crab research will be discussed.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441