Scotto Mitchell

Hervey Bay Fishing Personality

Scotto chairs the Fraser Coast Fishing Alliance and has been at the forefront of lobbying for improved zoning of the Sandy Straits Marine Park for many years. He’s also written for pretty much every major Australian Fishing Magazine, owned and operated a tackle store and been a long-term sponsored angler for a swag of major brands. Residing in Hervey Bay, Scotto has a personal passion for good management of the fisheries in his backyard.

Scotto Micthell Hervey Bay Fishing FB   Scotto Mitchell fishing hervey bay IG   Scotto Mitchell blog

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PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS INTERVIEW AND SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS AND FEEDBACK VIA THE ONLINE SURVEY!

Overview Of Proposed Changes

  • The Great Sandy Marine Park has always been anomalous in that commercial netting has been permissible within the yellow conservation park zones – this doesn’t happen in any other marine park in the country!
  • The proposed rezoning will see large mesh gill nets and ring nets removed from the yellow conservation zones – which will be a huge win for the marine environment, habitat and recreational fishing.
  • The Great Sandy Marine Park has a much lower proportion of green zone than is normal for marine parks nationally and internationally. The proposed rezoning will increase the area of green zone in line with other areas, protecting deep seagrass meadows that provide habitat for turtles, dugongs and fish. This is mostly achievable with minimal impact of key recreational fishing spots, but anglers are encouraged to review the zonings and make a submission if they feel important recreational values will be affected.

What We Need You To Do:

  1. Review the proposed rezoning and understand what it means for you. There is an excellent summary of the proposed changes.
  2. Examine the mapping (noting that it is indicative mapping at present, no coordinates are provided). You’ll find online maps here and you can also download the GPX files to view the proposed zones on your marine GPS.
  3. Listen to this interview (we’ve timestamped it so you can find the key bits easily) and then submit your comments before midnight, 23 October 2022.

Time Is Running Out, Have Your Say Now!

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Resources For Completing The Survey

If you’re unsure how to answer the survey questions the following are some suggested answers based on the position taken by the Fraser Coast Fishing Alliance. Please feel free to copy and paste these into the survey form or to edit them to reflect your own views.

Question 14: Answer “Yes” and save

Question 15: Answer “Strongly agree” to the removal of commercial large net gill nets and ring nets in the yellow conservation zones

Question 16: Answer “Strongly disagree” to the retention of tunnel and pocket nets in parts of the Great Sandy Marine Park

Question 17: Suggested answer: “Commercial fish harvesting activities are inconsistent with the objectives of a yellow conservation zone and current best practice adopted across the majority of yellow zones nationally and internationally“.

Question 33: Answer “Yes” to submitting additional comments on the draft rezoning plan.

Question 34: Leave comments that reflect your personal views on the plan. If you are unsure what comments to make here, the FRFA has the following suggestions that you can copy and paste in full or in part and can edit if you wish.

  1. The proposed Marine Park Zone 11 extends further than the agreed position with the FCFA and encroaches on high value fishing locations. Avoiding these angler sensitive areas and instead extending the zone further west would maintain the total area of green zone, achieve the desired protection of deep seagrass meadows and not reduce angling amenity.
  2. Marine Park Zone 16 includes the northern end of Big Woody Island to protect natural coral. However, this zone extends to the shoreline and includes areas of hard rock and sandflats that are important to recreational anglers. An alternative is adding a strip of yellow conservation zone along the shoreline to the top of Big Woody Island and extending 300-500 m from the shore. This would enable the corals to be protected in green zone without reducing angler access to non-coral habitat.
  3. The dark blue habitat protection zone on the eastern side of K’gari (Fraser Island) from north of MNP05 and encompassing Sandy Cape, Rooney’s Point and much of the eastern side of K’gari to Moon Point should be replaced with a yellow conservation zone, protecting key parts of the shoreline that are of recreational angling significance from commercial harvesting.
  4. It is understood that the department does not intend to allow commercial netting within the habitat protection zone in the Burrum River upstream of Buxton. It is imperative that this detail is carried through to the final zoning, as commercial harvest in this part of the river would be detrimental to conservation and recreational values.

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