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Sustainability of the local estuary and inshore fisheries and commercial fisheries entitlements of commercial net operators in the Cooktown area

Eligibility - Queensland residents

Principal Petitioner:

Michael Hale
Yuku-Baja-Muliku Archer Point Land Trust
PO Box 478
COOKTOWN QLD 4896

Total Signatures - 18

Sponsoring Member: Jason O'Brien MP

Posting Date: 22/04/2009

Tabled Date: 22/04/2009

Responded By: Hon Tim Mulherin MP on 28/05/2009

TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
The petition of the Traditional Owners being Yuku-Baja-Muliku in the State of Queensland draws to the attention of the House; the traditional owners Yuku-Baja-Muliju share grave concerns regarding the sustainability of the local estuary and inshore fisheries in the Cooktown area. Of specific concern are the ongoing commercial netting operations in the Annan River and district foreshore areas (the area) by commercial fisherman targeting Barramundi and other recreational species. Unreported by-catch of dugongs and turtles is also of concern. The area will not sustain the ongoing removal of Barramundi breeding populations by commercial netting operations. The amenity, recreational/tourism value of this area as recreational fishery far outweighs the commercial fishing contribution to the local economy of this region. Your petitioners therefore request the House to: 1. Urgently review the current commercial fisheries entitlements of commercial net operators in this area. 2. Apply a precautionary principal to protect the sustainability of the fishery by closing an area from Knob Point to Thomas Point to all commercial gill netting and crabbing. 3. Introduce an urgent closure to protect marine mammals, turtles and fish populations in this area. 4. Recognise and acknowledge the economic, tourism and amenity value of the area and its importance to the Cooktown district and recreational fishing.