Sanctuary Zone Not Needed In Roebuck Bay

‘When the community’s  ability to access sustainable fisheries is jeopardised, we will do everything we can to ensure decisions are made with adequate science and social considerations’

The fishing in Roebuck Bay hasn’t always been as good as it is now, in fact some say it’s the best ever.

A continued push to introduce a sanctuary zone in Roebuck Bay bemused local fishers from the Broome Fishing Club as there is no evidence to support ‘no fishing areas’.

In 2013 the Government decision to purchase all of Roebuck Bay’s commercial netting licences under the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy is now paying dividends and the fishing experiences are now being shared by the whole community. The government’s decision was a win for fishing in Broome and the environment of local waters.

Recfishwest’s Regional Policy Officer Matt Gillett travelled to Broome for the Broome Billfish Classic and spoke with the members and club committee on a range of issues. One of the fishing community’s key concerns is the continued push from local environmental groups for a sanctuary zone in Roebuck Bay.

‘’Hearing the concerns rings very true with Recfishwest, and as a fisher myself I have seen firsthand the quality of fishing in this area over the last few years change as the fish are returning to Roebuck Bay in big numbers’’ Matt Gillett said

‘’When the community’s ability to access sustainable fishing opportunities is jeopardised, we will do everything we can to ensure decisions are made with adequate science and social considerations. In this instance, we are confident that the fishing in Roebuck Bay is sustainable and implementing a sanctuary zone is simply not needed’’ Matt said.

Not only is the fishing fantastic, we’ve already seen important conservation activities in the Kimberley, namely the stocking of tens of thousands of Barramundi, fish tagging programs and genetic research demonstrating recreational fishers are stepping up and taking the lead to ensure healthy fish stocks.

Broome Fishing Club President Jig Albert said management arrangements that ensure great fishing and protection of the environment are currently working in Broome and the community hasn’t experienced this quality of fishing in decades.

“The numbers of fish are astronomical” Broome Fishing Club President Jig Albert.

This demonstrates fishers have a vested interest in conservation and community values that allow everyone to enjoy Roebuck Bay.