Fishing community backs healthy waterways strategy

THE recreational fishing community and the council back the development of a strategy to make local waterways healthier and grow angling as an economic driver.

Their support followed a Chronicle report in which former Maryborough MP John Kingston proposed the creation of a plan similar to the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Strategy 2007-2012.

Mr Kingston claimed the strategy was needed to improve fish stock numbers for species like barramundi, bass and threadfin salmon.

He claimed improved fish stocks would enable the area to become a huge sport fishing drawcard, and said healthy waterways would improve fish farming prospects.

Fraser Coast Fishing Alliance chairman Scott Mitchell said his group had lobbied a similar cause for some time and would join any push to improve angling and attract attention to its tourism value.

"We would like to work with him, it's not a new concept we have been on it for some time, but if he is prepared to support it then we would happily work % with him," Mr Mitchell % said.

He said the removal of commercial nets from the Mary River would form part of any solution - something he had recently discussed with Hervey Bay and Maryborough MPs.

"The last conversation I had with Ted Sorensen was to start the correcting of the Great Sandy Marine Park, and to do that we need to remove the commercial netting from the Mary River," Mr Mitchell said.

"I've now met with Ted on three occasions and presented a concept on using that as a starting point to correct the whole park and he was supportive of that."

Mr Mitchell said he had arranged to meet Member for Maryborough Anne Maddern next week.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell was also supportive of tapping into the industry.

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