Pearl farmers call for protection

THE OPERATORS of a Hervey Bay pearl farm are concerned millions of dollars worth of produce may have been ruined by boaties.

Aquaculture farmers from around Queensland are calling on the establishment of no-go zones for boaties, claiming the future of the industry depends on it – but Fisheries Queensland says the exclusion zone would not solve the problem.

Aquaculture Industry Federation spokesman Dr Trevor Anderson says farmers operating in open waters need more protection.

“The problem that occurs is some of the professional fishermen trawl through the middle of an aquaculture lease or large vessels will drive through a lease and they should know better really because these leases are marked on the charts, so it does create a serious problem for the aquaculturists,” he said.

Dr Anderson said the state government needed to investigate exclusion zones.

“It’s necessary to ensure investment.

“It’s like people wouldn’t invest in cattle if they couldn’t put fences around their properties.”



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