Marine Parks Benefits Wont Outweigh Fishing Impact

Tuna magnate Hagen Stehr has disputed at claims that losses to the fishing industry through marine parks will be outweighed by ecotourism.

Tuna magnate Hagen Stehr has disputed at claims that losses to the fishing industry through marine parks will be outweighed by ecotourism.

TUNA magnate Hagen Stehr has disputed at claims that losses to the fishing industry through marine parks will be outweighed by ecotourism.

Mr Stehr said Port Lincoln and many other areas of Eyre Peninsula had become what they were today through fishing and aquaculture.

A report commissioned by the Conservation Council of South Australia, released last week found a potential increase in ecotourism in places like Port Lincoln was expected to outweigh the negative economic impact on the commercial fishing industry when sanctuary zones came into effect on October 1.

However Mr Stehr said the region's reputation as a fishing capital was what created a lot of its tourism revenue.

"Port Lincoln over the last 60 years has been a mecca for the fishing industry," Mr Stehr said.

"People don't come down here for ecotourism, they come for fishing."

Mr Stehr said marine parks would also significantly affect the industry's output and may force Australia to import more seafood.

"We won't have enough fish of our own and we would need to import it," he said.

"I don't want to eat second or third grade Vietnamese or Chinese seafood."

Mr Stehr said his involvement with the Australian Maritime and Fisheries Academy had kept him in marine park discussions for many years.

He said he was frustrated the consultation the government had with the fishing industry was not considered when the marine park boundaries were outlined.

"The government needs to carefully think about the future of regional areas," Mr Stehr said.

"I call on the Premier to not destroy an industry, it is wrong and I'm standing up against it."

A Private Member's Bill to change 12 of the 84 sanctuary zones set to come in on October 1 to habitat protection zones will be voted on today.

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