Marine park to 'hurt' Bay fishers

THE director of a leading law firm with a history of representing commercial fishers predicts pain for the Hervey Bay industry because of marine park expansions in the Coral Sea.

Hervey Bay's Law Essentials director Chris Thompson said large-scale bans would affect Fraser Coast businesses.

He said many of the region's commercial seafood companies netted seafoodfrom the Coral Sea, which is extremely fertile for valuable exports such as eastern king prawns.

"You read that sort of thing, (Environment Minister Tony Burke) saying there are no closures in Hervey Bay, I mean, he is 100% correct but it's just crazy that he can get away with a comment like that," Mr Thompson said.

"He is implying these big commonwealth closures that they're doing right around Australia are immaterial to Hervey Bay - it's just nonsense."

Mr Thompson also suggested Coral Sea marine park expansions could potentially force commercial fishing operations to leave the Fraser Coast as more nets fight for product from a shrinking pond.

He added that despite the fact they fished the Coral Sea, those operators docked in Hervey Bay. He said their presence created employment and injected large sums of money into the local economy.

Environment Minister Tony Burke is expected to soon announce assistance for operators directly affected by the ban, but no such offer is expected for onshore businesses that rely on their trade.



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