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Drawing the line

Professor Colin Buxton from the University of Tasmania in Drawing the Line

In celebration of World Fisheries Day, Sydney Fish Market is screening the new documentary, Drawing the Line.

Australia is implementing the world’s largest marine reserves network and Drawing the Line examines its influence on the Australian fishing industry.

Bruce Davey, the fisherman who funded the documentary, said marine reserve fishing restrictions result in the importation of most seafood.

“We’ve got fish in the ocean out here in abundance but the government is stopping us from catching it,” he said.

“We’re not servicing our own seafood needs out of our own waters and importing 70 per cent from overseas.”

Matt Blyth, co-director of the documentary, said the Australian fishing industry is a world leader in sustainable fishing but the marine reserves are causing environmental problems elsewhere.

“We have the fourth-best managed fisheries in the world,” he said.

“When you get rid of 30 per cent of Australia’s most productive waters, these fishermen then have to fish areas and stress those areas that otherwise would not be stressed.”

Professor Colin Buxton from the University of Tasmania, who appears in the film, said that the marine reserves don’t deal with major environmental threats to the ocean.

“The major threats are climate change, land based influence, introduced pests, pollution, oil and gas extraction, and shipping,” he said.

Bryan Skepper, Sydney Fish Market General Manager, said that the other threats to the marine environment must be addressed.

“If we want to protect our biodiversity we have to manage all the threats, not just fishing,” he said.

Drawing the Line will be screened at Sydney Fish Market this Thursday, November 21.

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