The Tasmanian Greens today expressed disappointment over the stalling of the process to develop a new system of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Tasmania.

Greens Spokesperson for Coastal Protection, Cassy O’Connor MP, said that in the context of the global decimation of fish stocks and marine environments, it makes logical sense that Tasmania assumes a leadership role on this matter.

“Tasmania needs to recommit to a process of assessing suitable areas and then implementing appropriate no-take MPAs if we want to sustain our local recreational and professional fishing industries as well as maintain environmental integrity,” Ms O’Connor said.

“It’s disappointing that Minister Wightman is not taking a strong lead on this issue as it seems like such an easy win for Tasmania’s marine environment, its brand and fisheries.”

“Labor Minister Bryan Green spoke favourably of MPAs in parliament today, warmly outlining his experience on the mainland where he says that fishing adjacent to MPAs is far more productive than was the case before the reserves were established.”

“It’s difficult to understand why Labor are not more motivated on this issue as it appears to benefit all concerned.”

“When Tasmania was threatened by the prospect of having a supertrawler operate within our commercial waters last year there was an overwhelming amount of opposition.

Tasmanians are well informed, passionate and protective of their fisheries.”

“Our fisheries are one of the most valuable resources we own. They belong to all Tasmanians and to leave these unprotected is simply short-sighted,” Ms O’Connor said.
Cassy O’Connor MP Greens Spokesperson for Coastal Protection Thursday, 18 April 2013