Roebuck Bay Marine Park a Win for Fishing

Recfishwest welcomes the final management plan for the Roebuck Bay Marine Park, which has retained unrestricted recreational fishing access. The plan was announced by Premier Colin Barnett and we believe it strikes the perfect balance between recreation and conservation, illustrating that recreational fishing is compatible with conservation goals.

It provides increased protection for the conservation values of Roebuck Bay while maintaining recreational fishing access to this vitally important area. This further builds on the massive advances in conservation made by the removal of commercial netting a couple of years ago, which has provided a massive boost to Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon fishing in the Bay.
Although there has been some opposition to the plan from those who wanted sanctuary zones and fishing lockout restrictions, we believe it compliments current fisheries management and has struck October a good balance between restoring, protecting and managing natural values of Roebuck Bay while allowing recreational use for all stakeholders.

It is important to note that the local community, including the traditional owners, have been extensively involved during the consultation process which led to the final management plan. Recfishwest believes the plan celebrates fishing as an extremely important and highly valued recreational and cultural activity within Roebuck Bay.

The Broome Fishing Club has welcomed the news with former club president Derek ‘Jig’ Albert saying the management arrangements to ensure great fishing and protection of the environment were currently working in Broome and the community hadn’t experienced this quality of fishing in decades. He pointed to a marked rise in key fish stocks, such as Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon, as proof current management was working.

The management plan also provides comprehensive protection for marine mammals which are already protected under the state Wildlife Conservation Act and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The Yawuru people will play a significant role in the joint management of this park and Recfishwest looks forward to working with both Parks and Wildlife and the Yawuru PBC in promoting stewardship of the Roebuck Bay environment.
Our commitment is to protect, promote and develop sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community.

Soon Kununurra will be able to provide both great impoundment and wild river fishing opportunities for visitors to the town, a unique combination sure to appeal to many anglers.
(Photos of competition courtesy of ABC Kimberley)

Roebuck Bay Marine Park: Where Conservation and Recreation Join Forces

Roebuck Bay Marine Park: Where Conservation and Recreation Join Forces
Recfishwest welcomes today’s release of the final management plan for Yawuru Nagulagun/Roebuck Bay Marine Park by the Premier, Hon Colin Barnett. This plan provides increased protection for the conservation values of Roebuck Bay while maintaining recreational fishing access to this vitally important area on the door step of Broome.

Recfishwest supports measures that sustain and protect healthy oceans and quality fishing experiences. The management plan announced today provides a win for both conservation and the community and demonstrates recreational fishing is compatible with marine conservation objectives.
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said the plan celebrates fishing as an extremely important and highly valued recreational and cultural activity within Roebuck Bay.

“The management plan compliments current fisheries management and has struck a good balance between restoring, protecting and managing natural values of Roebuck Bay while allowing recreational use for all stakeholders”, said Dr Rowland.

“Current fisheries management in Roebuck Bay has resulted in fishing experiences being the best in living memory and has gone from strength to strength in the bay since the removal of commercial netting in late 2013.”

Former 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 haven’t experienced this quality of fishing in decades.

“We’ve seen a marked rise in key fish stocks, namely Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon, so the proof is in the pudding in terms of current management working,” Mr Albert said.

The management plan also provides comprehensive protection for marine mammals which are already protected under the state Wildlife Conservation Act and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

The new management plan is also important in fulfilling the cultural aspirations of the Yawuru people who will play a significant role in the joint management of this park. Recfishwest supports the Management Plan and look forward to working with both Parks and Wildlife and the Yawuru PBC in promoting stewardship of the Roebuck Bay environment.

Our commitment is to protect, promote and develop sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community.

ENDS________________________________________
MEDIA CONTACT: Tim Grose, 9246 3366 or tim@recfishwest.org.au

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.

Roebuck Bay Marine Park

Conservation and Community Benefit in Roebuck Bay

Recfishwest today said the release of the new Roebuck Bay Marine Park Indicative Management Plan provides a win for both conservation and the community, especially as it celebrates the role recreational fishing plays in the Kimberley.

Recfishwest CEO, Dr Andrew Rowland said the new marine park demonstrates that recreational fishing is compatible with marine conservation.
“We are pleased to see management activities focused on conserving the values that underpin good quality fishing experiences and where shared access can be enjoyed by all,” Dr Rowland said.

“We’ve already seen important conservation activities in the Kimberley, namely the stocking of the iconic Barramundi, where recreational fishers are giving back to help maintain a sustainable fishery.”

The new management plan is also important in fulfilling the cultural aspirations of the Yawuru people who will play a significant role in the planned joint management arrangements of this park.

“This type of management will bring the community closer together as it provides opportunities to share cultures around fishing.”
The management arrangements in this marine park complement the government’s 2013 decision to purchase all of Roebuck Bay’s commercial netting licences under the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy.

Broome Fishing Club President Derek Albert said fishing in Roebuck Bay has never been better.

“The Bay is a world class fishing location, providing fantastic opportunities for safe and enjoyable fishing experiences for the whole community” Mr Albert said.
To read Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s Media Statement, click here.