Something Fishy | Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park moving forward

MARINE MAPPING: A review of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park is underway. Stinker says he is pleased to hear the review is progressing positively.
MARINE MAPPING: A review of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park is underway. Stinker says he is pleased to hear the review is progressing positively.

From the reports that I am receiving, it is pleasing to hear that the review of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park is progressing in a positive and transparent fashion.

It is too early to predict an outcome, however, I get the impression that results will be far more acceptable to recreational fishers than they have been in the past.

The major issue since the Marine Park, which extends from Cape Hawke near Forster south to Birubi Beach at the northern end of Stockton Beach, was drawn up and enacted in 2007 has been the establishment of Sanctuary Zones, or 'no take zones', with solid penalties for those caught fishing within the boundaries.

I am a supporter of the Marine Park and can see that certain areas including Fly Point and Mambo Creek do deserve protection.

But when it comes to zoning I refer back to my original opinion: If logical reasoning or scientific evidence cannot be found for the existence of the current zones within the Marine Park then they should be removed.

When the original Marine Park was drawn up 14 years ago the then government demanded approximately 20 percent of the park be Sanctuary Zoned and that Grey Nurse Sharks be protected from recreational fishers.

But these major issues are now no longer are in play.

Got a pic or tip for Stinker?

If you've got a picture of a whopper caught in Port Stephens or fishing yarn to share email it to stinkerfishing@yahoo.com with your contact number and details about your catch.