Aquaculture 'No-Go' Zones Needed to Protect Sector

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
17 November 2010, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - Queensland aquaculture farmers say the future of the industry depends of the establishment of 'no-go' zones for boaties.

According to ABC News, the operators of a Hervey Bay pearl farm in the state's south-east are calling for the State Government to establish the zones, claiming boaties have ruined millions of dollars of produce.

Fisheries Queensland says the exclusion zone would not solve the problem.

Aquaculture Industry Federation spokesman Dr Trevor Anderson says farmers operating in open waters need more protection.

"The problem that occurs is some of the professional fishermen trawl through the middle of an aquaculture lease or large vessels will drive through a lease and they should know better really because these leases are marked on the charts, so it does create a serious problem [for] the aquaculturists," he said.

Dr Anderson says government needs to investigate exclusion zones.

"It's necessary to ensure investment," he said.

"If a possible investor is looking at an opportunity in aquaculture and they can't be sure that their product is going to be secure, then they are much less likely to invest.

"It's like people wouldn't invest in cattle if they couldn't put fences around their properties."