June 4th 2009
Fishing is clearly a big pastime on Magnetic Island but just how fishers handle the creatures they catch raises questions of animal cruelty. Today Magnetic Times received a message from a resident who had come across what she described as cruelty to fish (which she has reported to the RSPCA) not to mention “rudeness and disrespectful behaviour” from the young fishers she encountered.
In a letter to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Irene Hay wrote, “My husband and I live on Magnetic Island and commute Monday to Friday via Sunferries.
“This evening whilst walking home from the ferry, using the walkway adjacent to the Blue on Blue development, we were confronted with a group of young men/thugs fishing off the walkway. Is fishing permitted in this location?
“They were blocking the walkway with themselves, rods, fishing tackle and fish that were still alive on the ground. When confronted about leaving the fish to suffer they were rude, disrespectful and stomped on the fish in a brutal manner, which they all found very 'amusing'.
“It is most distressing to be confronted with such young men/thugs and their disrespect, not to mention their cruelty to living creatures particularly on a public walkway.
“Another gentleman on a bicycle also stopped and commented on how appalling the attitudes of the young men/thugs were."
Later Irene was contacted by Mr Cliff Singer of the RSPCA who confirmed that any act of cruelty to any animal (including fish) is open to prosecution and will not be tolerated and that the matter would be passed on the RSPCA's Area Inspector. Mr Singer also urged Ms Hay to contact the media to draw attention to the issue and that, “cruelty to animals (including fish) is open to prosecution and will not be tolerated”.
As to whether fishing is actually permitted around the Blue on Blue marina, Mr George Brackmanski from Bay Watch Security, told Magnetic Times, that, while fishing is not permitted from the pontoons in the marina, it is was allowed from the walkway rocks area.
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