Commercial fishers recognised for good environmental practices

Published: 19/07/2011

A Cairns-based operation that supplies marine life from the Great Barrier Reef for display in aquariums around the world will officially become part of the new Reef Guardian Fisher pilot program on Monday.

Cairns Marine is the first participant in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's (GBRMPA) marine aquarium fish and coral collection Reef Guardian Fisher pilot program.

GBRMPA Chairman Dr Russell Reichelt said Cairns Marine is not only a leader in their field but true champions for a sustainable Great Barrier Reef.

"The Reef Guardian Fisher program is about showcasing the great work being done by the commercial fishing industry to help build the resilience and health of the Reef," Dr Reichelt said.

"Cairns Marine is an innovator in their industry and the first Reef Guardian Fisher in the marine aquarium fish and coral collection fishery.

"The marine aquarium fish and coral collection industry is vital to educating both Australia and the world about the amazing animals that call the Reef home," he said.

"Cairns Marine fish in a sustainable way, using a highly selective hand collection method and maintaining an extensive range of dive sites to spread fishing effort."

Cairns Marine Director, Lyle Squire Jnr, said their business decided to sign up to the Reef Guardian Fisher program because it complemented his industry’s Stewardship Action Plan and offered the community confidence in the manner that industry operated.

"We are conscious that we work in a World Heritage Area and that there is an expectation from the community that we work hard to minimise our environmental footprint.

"The Reef Guardian program strengthens our existing initiatives and further develops the collaborative arrangements we have with the GBRMPA," he said.

The Reef Guardian Fisher program is initially focused on developing pilot programs in two fisheries - the reef line fishery and the marine aquarium fish and coral collection fishery.

Reef Guardian Fishers is part of a broader Reef Guardian Program, which also involves 13 Councils, over 230 schools and six cane farmers taking part in on-ground environmental projects that benefit the Reef.


Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846