Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: January 10

Top job on tree removal

Regarding the recent removal of a large tree at the corner intersection of Donald Street and Stockton Street, Nelson Bay (opposite Woolies) –  the tree roots had  seriously invaded vital underground pipes and was lifting  surrounding pavers.

It just had to go!

The usual group of greenies turned up to protest, without first finding out the facts.

Our council replaced the offending old tree, with an attractive smaller tree that does not have an invasive root system. It is surrounded by a nicely built timber border with an array of colourful flowers.

Well done Port Stephens Council for turning a liability into a community asset.

Dominic Davidson, Corlette

OVERDUE: Paul Lennon of Shoal Bay supports calls for a review of the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park.

OVERDUE: Paul Lennon of Shoal Bay supports calls for a review of the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park.

Angling for a review

As someone who has fished in Port Stephens for the last 35 years I think it is great to hear John "Stinker" Clarke pushing for a marine park review and potentially revoking zones with no scientific basis for being there (Examiner, Opinion, December 13).

Personally I have seen no evidence of an improvement in fishing or fish stocks since the marine park implementation and certainly none of the so called "spill over effect".

Many of the current sanctuary zones are serving no purpose and should be changed to habitat protection zones to allow recreational fishing.

Recreational fishing directly affects only those species targeted by fishers, not marine biodiversity in general.

There is solid evidence supporting the way recreational fishing is managed in NSW ensuring that it has minimal or no risk to the biological viability of any target fish species, or to the diversity of these species as a group.

The widespread practise of catch and release is proof of the commitment recreational fishers have to conserve stocks. 

And also in response to Alice Forrest’s reply letter, the grey nurse shark population was suggested to be less than 330 on the whole east coast of Australia during the consultation stage in setting up the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park.

This was used at the time as a big push for sanctuary zones. Shortly after the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park was implemented an independent survey was commissioned by the Department of Primary Industries.

The Ecology Lab conducted an the independent survey in 2008 counting 1800 sharks as a minimum and that was 11 years ago. There are many more sites that are known but unknown to science through fear of further lockouts.

A video of Professor Colin Buxton, the Director of the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, and his view on marine parks is available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxxic91-Wpw. He has published widely in his field and is author of 115 publications, 67 in the peer reviewed literature.

Paul Lennon, Shoal Bay

Try Samurai instead

No vehicle permits are required on the other side of Anna Bay at Samurai Beach.

It may be an oversight or a simple blunder from National Parks/Port Stephens Council.

Either way it’s a FREE beach that’s even advertised on Wiki camps for backpackers to get bogged on having no 4WD.

There are hundreds of people utilising this small ‘clothing optional’ beach every weekend simply because there are no vehicle permits required.

Every man, woman and child along with the family pet park at the water’s edge on this tiny one kilometre long beach that has very little signage regarding it being a ‘National Park’ with (no dogs allopwed) or being a beach for nude bathing.

My advice to Mr Warren Leadbeater would be to forget about Stockton Beach, the Worimi people and tour bus operators and come enjoy the one and only free beach in the whole of Port Stephens and the Great Lakes region.

Rob McMahon, Medowie