COMMERCIAL AND CHARTER FISHERMEN CALL ON THE STATE GOVERNMENT TO STOP VMS INTRODUCTION
17 July 2018
The fishermen and women of Mossman and Port Douglas have called a meeting at the Mossman Bowls Club on the 7th August 2018 from 2:00 PM to present their concerns regarding the introduction of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS).
All commercial and Charter fishermen and women have been invited to attend and unite in the call to stop the introduction of the VMS. Politicians and all relevant government departments have been invited and are requested to attend and hear their case firsthand and the factual basis on why the implementation of VMS will be detrimental and should be stopped or at the very least postponed pending further consultation.
Mark ‘Scrubber’ Harris one of the organisers of the meeting said there will be fishermen and women and charter boat operators coming from all over Queensland to show the government why what they are planning to do is wrong. VMS is like ankle trackers on criminals. That is how the government is treating us, like criminals. Targeting licenced commercial and charter fishermen who have done nothing wrong, while they ignore the real problem and fail to stop illegal fishing.
“This lazy government is attacking us fisherman without considering the unnecessary stress and financial cost on both us and the taxpayer” said Scrubber.
Tony Riesenweber a crabber from Brisbane said there was no proper consultation or opportunity for them to express their concerns. This VMS must be stopped. The government needs to do its homework and not just throw out something that has not been properly planned or prepared.
Attila Feher-Holan spokesman for the Mossman Port Douglas fishermen and will be co-hosting the meeting has spoken to dozens of fishermen and women over the past several months and is in support of the abandoning the introduction of VMS said, these fishermen and women who for generations have been have been supplying us with fresh Australian seafood are not in this business to destroy our environment but to ensure it is managed sustainably using the knowledge that passed down which allows their kids to follow in their footsteps.
Attila said, it’s disgraceful that our government is doing everything possible to crush this industry and force the Australian consumer to buy sub-standard imported seafood that comes from countries that’s fishing practices are appalling and destructive.
“It’s this sort of bureaucracy that’s making us susceptible to disease and putting our bio-security at risk, an example of this being a recent discovery of white spot on imported prawns that had passed through quarantine, an increasing consequence as we become reliant on imports while our own industries are being strangled by poor government policies,” said Attila.
Allen Bobbermen from the Inshore Fishing Industry said the VMS is an invasion of privacy. The government is stealing our intellectual property rights which is the methodology, timing and trade secrets that have been passed on for generations and closely guarded. You cannot put a dollar value on that knowledge, it’s priceless and the government wants to steal it with no compensation.
Attila said, if a majority of the state members and relevant departments cannot be bothered to turn up or at the very least send a representative then VMS MUST be scrapped. They need to be at this meeting to listen and get an understanding of what introducing VMS will do to the industry.
“This is another example of the government sitting in their ivory tower, appeasing the green party and city centric voters with no consideration for our Primary industries, most of whom are hardworking, taxpaying families. It’s time they get off their high horses and came up here and learnt what it takes for the average North Queenslander family to survive in the fishing and farming industries. Stop dictating and start note taking. Start representing the people, the small businesses and families who live regionally and are the backbone of the Queensland economy,” said Attila
For further information contact:
Mark ‘Scrubber’ Harris, (meeting organiser) (07) 4098 7526
Attila FEHER-HOLAN, (spokesman for the organisers of the meeting) 0400 004 042