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New Fish Habitats under Protection

by Ellen Hardy
26 May 2008, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - Queensland fish and their habitats are even more secure today with Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin officially confirming two newly-declared Fish Habitat Areas.

Mr Mulherin made the announcement as part of Community Cabinet at Ingham and Townsville.

“Cleveland Bay in Townsville and the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton, have been given protection as declared Fish Habitat Areas in recognition of their environmental and economic importance,” Mr Mulherin said.

“Declared Fish Habitat Areas offer protection to natural fish habitats from alteration and degradation associated with coastal development in the area.

“However, declared Fish Habitat Areas are still open to all forms of legal fishing and allow boating and community access.

“With the addition of these two declarations, Queensland now has 73 declared Fish Habitat Areas providing protection for more than 880,000 hectares of high-quality fish habitat.”

Mr Mulherin said fish habitats were vital to our state’s multi-million dollar fishing and tourism industries.

“Fishing is a popular recreational activity for many thousands of people, so it is important that we put in place measures to ensure these vital fish breeding areas remain viable for generations to come,” he said.

“These latest declarations are the culmination of more than five years of studies and consultation by DPI&F.

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the consultation process, including representatives from recreational and commercial fishing sectors, indigenous owners, industry groups, education organisations and individuals.”

The Cleveland Bay declared Fish Habitat Area stretches from just south of the mouth of the Ross River and around to Cape Cleveland and includes parts of Bowling Green Bay National Park.

The Fitzroy River declared Fish Habitat Area includes part of the Fitzroy River estuary, Raglan Creek and the wetland systems surrounding North Curtis Island.

The declared Fish Habitat Areas will have no effect on any approved development projects, and there will be no further restrictions on existing commercial or recreational fishing activities.

Ellen Hardy