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  1. I've been pretty fortunate to have experienced some fantastic catch and release fishing in the Coral Sea with the guys from Nomad Sportfishing. I recently received this email from the Nomad team asking for help from fellow anglers to help keep open access to coral sea. So copy the link into your web browser or Google, and send a letter to the Minister of Environment.Recreational anglers in Australia are being steamrolled by green group pressure so a marginal government can stay in power. If you don't like being told what you can and can't do by green groups pressuring the government, or if you value the Coral Sea, then you need to act now! You can make a difference in under 60 seconds... The Short Story is that if you value recreational fishing anywhere in Australia, not just the Coral Sea, you need to click the link below and fill out your name and email address, and then press submit, and you'll have sent a letter to the minister for environment, expressing your concern over current marine reserve closures. He will then recieve this as an email from your personal address. I would urge you to act regardless of where you are in the world. You can read the letter and send it at the below link. http://nomadsportfishing.com.au/wordpress/sustainable-recreational-fishing/ If you have already sent a letter, thanks for your support! Concerned fishermen from around the world have so far sent over 5000 letters to the minister since last Thursday, and we're just getting started, so I would urge you to please do whatever you can to spread the word on this, it affects recreational fishermen all over Australia. The Full Story started over 3 years ago, and I've been involved the whole way, with many many meetings with the heads of the environment department and other various scientists, culminating in a meeting with the Federal Environment Minister, Mr Tony Burke, about 4 weeks ago. I hate to get political, but I can only tell you what I've seen in this process and what I've been told by the various government representatives along the way, and hope this inspires you to do something, and also to spread the word in every way you can. What is happenning here is just not right and not fair to recreational anglers. I do need to make clear straight up that the whole of the Coral Sea is not being closed to recreational anglers, and nor should it be, with many areas still open to recreational angling, HOWEVER, the closure of Marion, Kenn and Osprey Reefs in the Coral Sea is a prime example of recreational anglers being steamrolled by green group pressure so a marginal government can stay in power. These reefs are unique, special places that every Australian angler, and every future generation of anglers should have the right to access when they choose to do so. Again, if you don't like being told what you can and can't do by green groups, then you need to act now!!!! The environment department reviewed the Coral Sea marine reserve, starting this process 3 years ago, and then proposed a very practical zoning proposal early in 2012, which was entirely acceptable to recreational fishermen, and which would actually benefit recreational anglers. This proposal was based on sound scientific research and facts. I was shown a zoning map in March 2012, which was the final draft prepared by government scientists, and it was a great plan, which would protect the reef, but also allow access for recreational anglers, by way of pelagic only yellow zones, essentially allowing for catch and release fishing, but also for the keeping of a few pelagic fish for immediate consumption at sea only(no take back to land). The scientists from the environment department had listened, and come up with a wonderful, world leading management plan. This draft plan then went to the politicians and came back a month later with green zones everywhere, and when we were again shown the map in April, it had completely changed, but there was absolutley no science to explain why it had changed. We could see that even the environment department's own people were dissapointed that all their good work had been ignored and had been for nothing. The fact is that the green groups, led by PEW, a US-based environmental organisation funded by oil money, applied huge pressure to a labor government who relies on greens support to stay in power and the government dutifully pulled out their green highlighter and started drawing random and unexplained green zones all over the place to keep the green groups happy. If you are happy to get told where you can and cannot fish by green group pressure and no scientific facts or research, then just sit back and do nothing, and it will keep happening, the green groups will have won, and soon we'll be locked out of everywhere in Australia just because it suits the greens and makes them feel all warm and fuzzy. Some interesting key facts here:- • The PEW environmntal group started lobbying the Australian Government 3 years ago, and managed to force Peter Garret to make the Coral Sea a Marine Reserve about 18 months ago. This had no impact other than the name, but it was the start of a slippery slope. • The PEW environmental group is from the USA and is funded by oil company charitable trust money, and is a way for oil companies to feel good about themselves by passing on tax deductable profits to green groups to try and make up for their environmental pillaging. This group has lots of money and lots of lobbying power, and they think they can get whatever they want, whenever they want just by adding more money! • Before this process started, there was over 60% of the entire Coral Reef mass in the Coral Sea already marked as green zones. This huge green zone covering Lihou and Coringa Herald Reefs has been in place for the past 20 years or more. With 60% of the Reefs in the Coral Sea already a no take green zone, do we really need more? Of course we don't, and that is also what many leading scientists have said!!! The scientists got told by politicians that this was not enough green area and were told to make more green zones happen. Shouldn't that work the other way around?• PEW wanted the entire Coral Sea made into a huge green zone, and locked up to everything. The Australian Government managed to resist this push, and implemented a strategic sientific appraisal of the area, with the science based zoning maps released in March 2012, these being praised by all recreational fishing groups as a huge step forwards in conservation, tourism and access. The scientific approach recommended pelagic only fishing zones be implemented at many Coral Sea reefs, this is because these zones have the same conservation value as green zones, but they allow access for low impact activities that won't harm the reef. Pelagics are the main species targetted in the Coral Sea, and this zoning would allow for recreational fishing access, with the same environmental outcomes as Green zones!!! PERFECT!! A great solution you would think. • HOWEVER - After proposing this zoning before the final round of public consultation, the politicians got involved, reviewed the zoning and decided there needed to be more green on the map just to keep their mates in the Greens Party happy. The Environment department even proposed the pelagic only zone be a different shade of green, to keep the green groups happy, but not acceptable was the government reply! • This then resulted in the current zoning map we have today, that has been determined by politicians being pressured by green groups, rather than by solid scientific evidence and processes. If we as recreational fishermen allow this to happen, it will set a frightening precedent that shows that green group pressure can win out over scientific process and that the concerns of 5 million Australian recreational fishers can just be ignored. This is simply how these green groups operate, and if we allow the flood gates to open, heaven help recreational fishing in Australia. So, what can you do? We need marine reserves, and properley managed marine parks in Australia, but they must be implemented with conservation and access for low impact activities as their primary goals, not be implemented just to keep green groups happy. To tell the minister you are not happy with this process, and to tell him you want it changed, simply click the link below, write your name and email address and click submit. Could not be easier. ALSO, make sure you send this to every concerned recreational angler you know, post the issue on your facebook page, talk about it on forums, email it to people. MAKE SOME NOISE ABOUT THIS. It effects every recreational angler in Australia, and we simply cannot sit back and be steamrolled by a bunch of green groups pressuring a marginal government. We want marine reserve implementation based on scientific processes and to keep access for low impact activities as a priority. Not too much to ask I think!! This all sounds very dramatic I know, but if you care about recreational fishing in Australia, or want access to your local waterways, now is the time to take 60 seconds of your day and make a difference. Just click below to open the web page. You can also put comments on our facebook page and tell us what you think, or just email us. http://nomadsportfishing.com.au/wordpress/sustainable-recreational-fishing/ On a much lighter note, we will be sending out an awesome newsletter video featuring some great Bligh Reef action in the next few days, so keep an eye out for that soon. Best Regards Damon OlsenNomad Sportfishing Adventureswww.nomadsportfishing.com.auinfo@nomadsportfishing.com.auphone 1800 021 014 in Australia+61732569433Unit 12/25 Depot StreetBanyo, QLD, 4012Australia