The James Cook University-led study found nearly 80 per cent of fishers on the Great Barrier Reef did not in response to observed poaching.
The James Cook University-led study found nearly 80 per cent of fishers on the Great Barrier Reef did not in response to observed poaching.

Reef fishers fail to reel in poaching

THE Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has renewed calls to report any suspected illegal activity, following new research showing many reef fishers witness poaching but do nothing about it.

The James Cook University-led study found nearly 80 per cent of fishers on the Great Barrier Reef did not in response to observed poaching.

Surveyed fishers told JCU researchers they thought poaching wasn't their concern or their responsibility, they were uncertain as to whether it was illegal fishing, or because of obstacles to reporting.

GBRMPA's Andrew Simpson said illegal fishing impacted on an ecosystem already under pressure.

"Illegal fishing has serious ecological consequences, not just by depleting fish stocks for the future, but also through anchor impacts and fishing tackle damaging coral tissue, which contributes to coral disease and affects fish habitat and the Reef's ability to recover," he said.

"We know most fishers follow the rules and do their bit to help protect the Reef, but there's a percentage who continue to poach and threaten our global icon, and the ability of honest fishers to continue doing what they love."



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