27/10/2020 – 10:39

Fish stocks in the Maroochy River, Pumicestone Passage and Deception Bay are set to improve following a habitat restoration project funded by the Morrison Government. The Morrison Government has committed $300,000 for the Fishers for Fish project under the Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program to assist in restoring the health and functionality of the region’s coastal and estuarine fisheries habitats.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the Morrison Government understands how important fishing and the marine environment is to our region.

“Everyone knows the Sunshine Coast for its beaches and its spectacular hinterland, but what most don’t know is that our region is full of fishers. From the largest long-line tuna and prawn fishing fleets on the East Coast to the thousands of locals who like to throw a line over the side of a boat at the weekend, fishers in our region want to see a healthy environment and thriving fish stocks and they want the chance to get involved. That is what this project will help to deliver.”

The Fishers for Fish project will include bank stabilisation and mangrove rehabilitation along the Maroochy River canelands and Burpengary Creek, rehabilitation of the Coolum Creek Wetlands and restoration of in-stream shellfish habitat in the Pumicestone Passage and Maroochy estuary.

Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said, “Our natural environment is what makes our part of Australia so unique, and so we have to do what it takes to protect it. The health of our waterways is essential to the future of our recreational and commercial fisheries, and our local fishermen and women, including our local indigenous fishers are well placed to lead these works.”

Works will be undertaken by recreational fishers through the Maroochy and Pumicestone OzFish chapters, with support from OzFish Central Moreton and other recreational fisher groups, as well as Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay Regional Councils and Healthy Land and Water.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said these projects would benefit recreational fishers by improving the health and productivity of habitats that support fish stocks and fisheries.

“Australia’s waterways are some of the best in the world,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“It’s critical we keep the habitats of our fisheries healthy so we can continue to enjoy our world-class fishing into the future.

“This program will benefit Australia’s natural resource base and the broader community – especially our recreational fishers.

“We will be funding 28 projects across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australian and Tasmania.

“This funding will see Regional Land Partnership providers and recreational fishing groups partner in rolling-up their sleeves to directly improve fish habitats.

“Together, they will work on surrounding vegetation and biodiversity in marine and estuarine areas, from tropical mangrove wetlands in Queensland, to building shellfish reefs on Kangaroo Island and restoring fish habitat damaged by moorings in southern Tasmania.”

The Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program is a 2019 government election commitment to provide $8 million to restore the health and functionality of coastal and estuarine fisheries habitats.

Picture: Ted with his daughter Alexandra at a recent visit to Maroochy Wetlands.

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