Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

'Net Bans Failed Elsewhere'; Recreationalliancestands Bylocking Up

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

'Net Bans Failed Elsewhere'; Recreationalliancestands Bylocking Up

Article excerpt

Andrea Davy

andrea.davy@dailymercury.com.au

THEY claim it will drive tourism and make Mackay a fishing Mecca.

But there are critics who say the net-free zone off the coast of Mackay might not be all that it's cracked up to be.

Mackay Reef Fish Supplies owner David Caracciolo said you don't have to look far to see where net-free zones haven't worked.

"The Pumicestone Passage is one area where it hasn't eventuated to anything," he said.

Rick Morgan from Morgan's Seafood operates in the Bribie Island area said the Pumicestone Passage's net-free zone was advertised to draw more fishermen to the area, but that never happened.

"There used to be three bait shops down there, now there is only one," he said.

"So it hasn't worked."

Mr Caracciolo made the point that successful tourism fishing destinations, like Darwin, the Cape and Karumba, drew visitors the Mackay region would never be able to attract.

"They go up to get away from everything for two weeks. …

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