EP councils weigh in on ban

Eyre Peninsula councils have joined calls for the state government to reconsider its proposed three-year snapper ban.

As reported in today's front page story, the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association's 10 member councils believe further studies are needed before any ban goes ahead.

Eyre Peninsula communities will be affected by either of the three-year ban options put forward by the state government - whether it is a statewide ban or limited to the West Coast/Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent.

The councils' concerns relate to the substantial negative impact they believe a ban would have on small businesses, facilities and regional tourism on the Eyre Peninsula's West Coast.

The opposition has also been calling for a delay on the ban until an independent scientific review can be undertaken and industry groups have their own ideas about alternatives they want the government to consider.

EPLGA president Sam Telfer, pictured with EPLGA members, plans to take the councils' concerns to Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone at a meeting of councils next week but with time running out before the proposed start date for the ban on October 1 they will have to act fast.

The minister is considering the submissions at the moment before making his final decision and while more than 900 were received by the government, hopefully he will give appropriate weight to those coming from a more informed perspective about the state of the fishery.

That is not to say the ban should not go ahead if that is what is required to save the fishery, which many people agree is in dire straits. However the justification must be there for any long-term ban, which could have a big impact on recreational and commercial fishers alike and flow on to many coastal communities around SA.