The former head of NSW Fisheries Research criticised the State Government, claiming it had wasted $33 million on marine parks that have failed to help fish stocks.
The former head of NSW Fisheries Research criticised the State Government, claiming it had wasted $33 million on marine parks that have failed to help fish stocks.

Marine parks 'hoodwink' public

THE whirlwind visit to Coffs Harbour of leading marine scientist Professor Robert Kearney has created a storm of controversy.

The former head of NSW Fisheries Research criticised the State Government, claiming it had wasted $33 million on marine parks that have failed to help fish stocks.

His scathing attack was made in an address to the local pro-fishing lobby over the Solitary Islands Marine Park review.

“The State Government has hoodwinked the people of NSW into believing marine parks are protecting marine biodiversity, which scientifically speaking isn’t the case,” Professor Kearney said.

“The greatest threats to marine life, coral reefs and fish species don’t come from fishers; they come from on-land activities, yet the department has demonised prawn trawling and fishing with no relevant scientific evidence.”

He said the Solitary Island Marine Park review was based on “faulty science” irrelevant to the local area.

Conservation groups have been quick to return fire.

“Professor Kearney seems to spend more time at anti-marine park rallies than undertaking scientific research,” National Parks Association spokesman Ashley Love said.

“The draft review was based on science contained in 1100 peer-reviewed publications over the past 12 years.

“This massive scientific research effort was produced by more than 1650 individual scientists, yet Professor Kearney does not rate one publication on the list.”


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