Fishers & Greens unite to launch petition to protect seafood from gas exploration
MEDIA RELEASE – 9 October 2014
The fishing industry and the Greens have united to launch a joint petition against gas exploration off the coast of Newcastle. They aim to collect 10,000 signatures on the petition to trigger a formal parliamentary debate in the Legislative Assembly on the issue. The petition will be placed in fish shops around NSW and at the Sydney Fish Markets.
“This petition aims to raise awareness of the threat that gas exploration poses to the livelihoods of fishermen, and their ability to provide quality seafood for customers in Sydney and throughout NSW,” said Tricia Beatty, Executive Officer of the Professional Fishermen’s Association.
“We are looking for politicians who are willing to stand up for the fishing industry.
“The Commonwealth Fisheries Association wants seismic surveys listed as a ‘key threatening process’ to fisheries under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act,” she said.
General Manager of the Commercial Fisherman’s Co-operative, Robert Gauta said: “Our past experience with seismic surveys is that it has disturbed or killed many fish and other sea creatures, leading to a long-term collapse of the fishery. The area targeted for seismic testing is one of the most productive fisheries in the Newcastle region.
“We want customers in Sydney and elsewhere to know that their holiday prawns and fish are under threat from gas exploration and the fishermen heading out to sea everyday need their help,” he said.
Greens Primary Industries spokesperson, Jeremy Buckingham said: “The Greens are pleased to join with the fishing industry to raise this issue in parliament and protect an important fishery,” he said.
Greens – Max Phillips – 0419 444 916
Professional Fishermen’s Association, Tricia Beatty: 6652 7374 or 0429 303 371
Commercial Fishermen’s Cooperative, Robert Gauta: 4965 4221 or 0435 739 404