06/14/2012 - Commercial fishermen are set to receive compensation of about $100 million to help them adjust to the establishment of the world's largest network of marine reserves around Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said this morning.
But the industry has swiftly poured scorn on the figure. Brian Jeffriess of the Commonwealth Fisheries Association told the National Times the government ''were kidding themselves'' if they though that was enough.
Ms Gillard told ABC radio that the 44 marine reserves, covering more than 3 million square kilometres of Australian waters, would affect only about 1 per cent of commercial fishing.
Imogen Zethoven, a Coral Sea campaigner from the Pew Environment Group, said the announcement was a ''historic moment'' in protecting the unique tropic waters beyond the Great Barrier Reef, which are home to sharks, tunas, and marlin, as well as healthy coral reefs, atolls, cays and islands.
Read the full article, Marine Reserve Compensation 'A Drop in the Ocean', on the Sydney Morning Herald's website.