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Bongin Bongin Bay Aquatic Reserve Proposal (Mona Vale Basin)

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A local swimming group along with other community members are pushing through a proposal to create a "no take" aquatic reserve that stretches from south Bungan Beach to north Mona Vale Beach. The area will stretch 3.8km and covers and area just shy of 452,000m2. The zone will stretch out 1km out to sea which will effect boat anglers and spearfishers.

 

Their proposal is simple. Stop fishing of any kind to protect the marine environment. How are they doing that? They have submitted a proposal that is riddled with false claims and examples. Let's break it down. 

  • The proposal states the current usage of the area and is important to physical and mental well-being. Anglers and spearfishers also seek to boost their physical and mental well-being in this area. Do they not count? Do anglers and spearfishers not deserve the same enjoyment as those swimming, surfing, paddling etc? 

  • The proposal states that for $125 per sample can provide an ongoing objective assessment of the recovery of bio-diversity.  It hasn't been done yet so how can they provide a proper data set to say that anglers and spearfishers have a negative impact on the area? 

  • The application directly compares to other aquatic reserves around the world promoting that these aquatic reserves help with migrating whales, turtles and tuna. The proposal refers to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Hawaii which expands 262,000km2. The sample size for Bongin Bongin Bay is too small to promote such massive improvement in marine life. It's completely out of context. 

  • The proposal shows a graphic that outlines how larger female fish/crayfish lay more eggs. Firstly, the fish mentioned aren't local to Mona Vale and the reproductive cycles of fish vary immensely from species to species. Also, as anglers and spearfishers we PAY our license fee to help preserve fish stocks and we ADHERE to a minimal size requirement for most species to ensure larger females can breed. So banning fishing will have minimal effect. 

  • Long Reef is only a few kilometres south of Mona Vale is an aquatic reserve. You're allowed to fish and spearfish there since the 1980s. That is a great example of a well-managed aquatic reserve that allows for line fishing. Why does Mona Vale have to completely ban anglers and spearfishers?

  • Mona Vale and nearby Narrabeen are home to two fishing tackle stores who rely on the local and visiting anglers for business. Shutting down fishing shuts down their income. 

There are many reasons as to why we want to keep Mona Vale open for fishing. As a community we need to be heard. Please share our message and sign our petition. #keepsydneyfishing 

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