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Fish Rock repeal

Fish Rock Cave
Fish Rock Cave, South West Rocks, NSW, Australia_Copyright (c) 2005 Richard Ling

The Community Action for Fish Rock Group has recently contacted Club Marine to share the news that the regulations banning bait fishing and jigging at Fish Rock are being lifted.

Located just over two kilometres off Smoky Cape at South West Rocks, NSW, Fish Rock is a critical habitat area for Grey Nurse sharks, which live here in large numbers most of the year.

The Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson said the NSW Government would put the closures back out to public consultation for a further three months to ensure the best outcome is achieved for both the Grey Nurse population and the local community.

This fulfils a promise made by the then-shadow minister Duncan Gay that when the coalition gets elected, it would revoke the regulations made by the previous Labor minister.

According to the Community Action for Fish Rock Group, “the science supporting the ban was flawed – like most recreational fishing closures around Australia.” The CAFR went on to state “The fact that over $400,000 of fishers’ licence fee money was used to fund this faulty research only added insult to injury.”

The CAFR says the new State government will place a moratorium on the establishment of future marine parks and will review the necessity of all fishing lockouts in existing marine parks, revoking any closures not supported by true and relevant science.

“This is a common-sense victory for the communities centred around South West Rocks and Hat Head who fought so hard against these politically-based closures,” said a spokesman for CAFR.

The Community Action for Fish Rock group was formed by a group of concerned fishers after learning of the proposed closures in their community. For most members of the committee it was their first time dealing with politicians and found it to be an eye opening experience.

CAFR would like to hear about anybody that may have been fined for fishing at Fish Rock during this period of closure. If anybody has been fined, the CAFR will make representation to have those fines revoked.

You can contact CAFR at

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