Western Australia’s peak recreational fishing and seafood industries have voiced their concerns about a new marina development planned for Mandurah and the potential impact on crab numbers.
Project proponent Tian An Australia hope to build a 300-berth onshore marina on the western side of the Point Grey peninsula, with the plan including retail and recreation space.
The project proposes the construction of a 2.5 kilometre navigation channel across the Harvey Estuary.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has the final say on whether the proposal goes ahead after the Environmental Protection Agency released a report last month stating it had no new concerns.
Recfishwest chief executive Dr Andrew Rowland said 70 per cent of WA’s recreational crab catch comes from the Peel Harvey system.
“This system is under enough pressure, we do not need any more – we’re concerned about the cumulative impacts of more pollution and more dredging,” he said.
“Estuary health and people’s connection to the resource must be put ahead of development dollars. This is not the Gold Coast.
“Any development must meet the needs of the environment and fit within the values and expectation of the community who care deeply about this place.”
Western Australian Fishing Industry Council chief executive John Harrison said the proposal’s dredging component would be in the middle of the breeding ground of blue swimmer crabs.
“The planned marina will jeopardise long-term management of this important waterway,” he said.
“In June 2016, the recreational and commercial industry joined forces to become the first-ever joint fishery to receive the world’s leading gold standard sustainability third-party certification - Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
“Ongoing MSC certification relies on a healthy ecosystem to maintain a high level of ecological health.
“We want to ensure the future of the crabs is preserved, the ecosystem remains healthy and the rights of WA’s seafood consumers to access an iconic WA meal of fresh Mandurah crabs will continue for generations to come.”
The Shire of Murray are supporters of the proposal in principle, while the region’s business community stands to benefit in relation to the local economy and jobs.
However, local MPs David Templeman and Robyn Clarke have voiced their opposition to the project.
An ongoing poll on the Mandurah Mail website gauging readers’ opinions on the Point Grey proposal had received 142 votes at the time of writing, with 66.2 per cent of people opposing the project and 33.8 per cent supporting it.