Media Release: Limmen Bight Marine Park’s new plan could be a win win for fishing, culture and conservation

Top End conservationists, fishers and tourism operators have today welcomed the NTGovernment’s call for public comment over the next month on how best to manage and protect the incredible cultural, recreational, commercial and ecological values of one of the Top End’s secret gems - the Limmen Bight Marine Park.

“The Limmen Bight’s draft plan of management released today provides the opportunity to safeguard the unique cultural, conservation and fishing lifestyle values of the Roper River and Limmen Bight region,” said Australian Marine Conservation Society NT Coordinator Jason Fowler.

“A good quality management plan for the Territory’s second marine park, driven by stakeholder input and good science, will create significant benefits for the Territory’s people and the tourism economy, just as has been the case in iconic and now thriving places like the Kimberley.” “The Roper River and Limmen Bight region are both outstanding places of natural beauty and wildlife. As the region continues to face growing threats from dams, mining pollution and climate impacts like mangrove dieback and coral bleaching, it is imperative that the Government acts now.”

“This marine park provides the opportunity to safeguard this Territory icon, if done well. It’s now up to the NT Government to follow through on their election commitment and deliver an effective plan that will drive good management on the water at Limmen for the whole community,” said Mr Fowler.

“Our business operates at Cobourg Marine Park which is heralded as one of the best fishing destinations in Australia,” said Hugh Gange of the mutli-award-winning fishing tour business Cobourg Fishing Safaris.

“Visitors travel from across Australia and the world to fish with us as they know they will have a superior fishing and wildlife experience in a marine park,”

“The Roper and Limmen Region could also bring in the fishing tourism that a marine park attracts, and that’s great for the Territory economy and jobs," said Mr Gange.

“I’ve been fishing the Territory for 30 years and I’m increasingly concerned about the degradation I’m seeing. The multi-million dollar fishing tourism industry is at risk if we fail to invest in protecting the health of the rivers and coasts," said Graeme Williams of Insight Fly Fishing and former CEO NT Guided Fishing Industry Association.

“There are many places where the fishing isn’t as good as it used to be. We must turn this around if we’re going to protect our lifestyle as well as our livelihoods - we now have the opportunity to do that at Limmen," said Mr Williams.

Media Contact: Jason Fowler 0487 806 385

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