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Sharks considered in park plan

A TWEED activist who wanted a rethink on marine parks welcomed the Federal Government's Marine Park plan that excluded large parts of the northern NSW coastline.

But Tweed Coast Amateur Fishing Clubs Association secretary Angela Dennison warned that the Federal Government's marine park plan was on top of other marine parks already in place.

According to environment minister Tony Burke, the Tweed region falls under The Temperate East Marine Region that runs from the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to Bermagui in southern NSW.

He said it was home to the critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark and the vulnerable white shake.

The map Mr Burke release today for public comment showed that the nearest Commonwealth Government marine park under the plan was hundreds of kilometres off shore.

"We already have many areas that protect these species," Ms Dennison said.

Ms Dennison said fundamentally marine parks were a good thing but the process to identify areas that needed protection was flawed.

"It must be remembered that fishermen are not against marine parks," she said.

"Fishermen have to realise there has to be a change and it can be positive.

"You can't just put a coloured line on the map and say it's protected."

Ms Dennison said more thought had to go into understand what areas needed protecting and why because of the huge number of interests involved in these decisions.

Mr Burke said commercial fishing operators would be compensated for the new marine parks.

Topics:  grey nurse sharks, marine parks, tony burke


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