Seafood industry chief slams WWF 'treachery'


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NO Australian primary producer should trust the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) according Karen Collard.

NO Australian primary producer should trust the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) according Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) president Karen Collard.

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Ms Collard has been angered by WWF's public support for the net fishing bans proposed by the state government.

"WWF is enacting a long-term plan to end all fishing in Australian waters - and exert the maximum possible control over all other primary industries as well," she said.

"By supporting the decrease of Queensland seafood production, WWF are increasing demand on poorly managed foreign food sources and obstructing consumers' choice."

The Palaszczuk government has proposed three net-free fishing zones down the Queensland coastline. The zones will not exclude commercial trawling, crabbing or line fishing.

The most northern zone extends from St Helens Beach to Cape Hillsborough (147 square kilometres), the central zone covers 2000sq km between Keppel Bay and Fitzroy River while the southern net free zone covers 85sq km at Trinity Bay.

The commercial fishing industry claims the state government failed to consult with industry over the bans and say they will destroy countless businesses.

Ms Collard said the proposed ban had been engineered by keen recreational fishermen who believed they would catch more fish under the plan and were supported by some politicians "because they think it might get them more votes".

"And the WWF has jumped in and supported the proposed bans because, though they might try to deny it, the WWF is philosophically opposed to all forms of fishing," Mrs Collard said.

"Our organisation has worked co-operatively with WWF on a number of issues and believed we were making progress. This latest action is treacherous."

QSIA executive officer Eric Perez said WWF had "no bottom line" when it came to acceptable fishing in Australian waters.

"This must be a warning to all primary producers in Queensland - do not trust WWF," he said.

"Whether you are a fisherman, a cattle producer, a cane farmer or any other primary producer, WWF will try to control what you do and use every trick in the book to restrict your activities."

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