TELEVISION personality Rob Paxevanos from Fishing Australia has been fishing the South Coast for 15 years and Jervis Bay is one of his favourite spots. “When you’re closing fishing spots it’s always going to be a touchy topic. It’s a big task you wouldn’t wish the job on anyone,” he said. “There are pros and cons to marine parks, just like anything else,” he said. “They limit areas to fish and can make it hard for a small number of anglers who might not have the means to access other spots.
“But for a larger percentage of anglers, with transport there is still a plethora of good fishing spots in the Bay,” he said.
“I think the size of the sanctuary zones is more than big enough.
“And I think limiting trawling and other destructive fishing methods has brought back juvenile fish, but it was at the cost of some professional anglers’ livelihoods,” he said.
Mr Paxevanos said in his experience groups of anglers who feel strongly about a specific area they might have lost to a sanctuary zone should lobby to have that area opened.
“Those groups need to focus on the possibility of changing that specific area and not get distracted by the whole marine park issue.”
He also said he was a strong believer in the implementation of artificial reefs in other areas to counter the closure of popular fishing spots.
“That artificial reef in St Georges Basin is brilliant, and the recreational fishing havens have seen a definite increase in small to medium sized snapper making it out into the ocean,” he said.