A Commercial Skipper's Perspective
My name is Andrew wells and I'm a commercial skipper in the fishing charter and tourism industry.
The fishing charter industry here on the gold coast is the 2nd largest in Australia, we provide a service for thousands of domestic and international visitors and residents to experience our diverse marine environments within the gold coast.
Sustainability and preservation of the resource has always been supported within the fishing charter industry. Through daily logs and recording of data, we have been a key player in helping government fisheries agencies to gain more information about the dynamics of our fishery, currently very little is understood. Much more research work must be done before we even come close to any realistic assumptions.
My colleagues and myself are extremely concerned about the negative impact a cruise ship terminal will have here in the broadwater, surrounding rivers, mangroves and the offshore reefs.
The broadwater is a marine nursery for numerous species of marine life including snapper, bream, flathead, prawns, and crabs. All breed and grow within the broadwater before moving offshore to replenish our fish stocks.
The destruction and degradation of these inshore habitats and breeding grounds, along with the removal of nursery food sources such as yabbies and soldier crabs, will destroy both our inshore and offshore fishery.
Pollution, oils, fuels, sewerage, ballast water with parasitic diseases, aquatic pests both plant and animal will destroy our broadwaters natural balance.
It would only take one small spill or accident to completely pollute the broadwater. With shallow channels and a strong tidal flow the whole marine nursery would be completely ruined within a few short hours, there would be no time to save it.
The seaway and broadwater is a very narrow and small waterway, it will not cope with the huge increased pressure a cruise ship terminal and associated large support vessels and infrastructure will cause. Seaway closures, restricted access and no go zones, congestion, and public safety are additional concerns for all users of the waterways.
The dredging needed to build and then sustain such a project and ongoing facility will be enormous, and will change the flow and speed of water within the broadwater and seaway, the sandbanks and marine habitats will be affected forever.
There is no way a cruise ship terminal will not have a negative impact on our broadwater environment. Any honest and reliable environmental impact study must show this and cover all tides and weather conditions of the broadwater and surrounding areas in an annual cycle.
45 minutes up the road there is already an international cruise ship terminal in Brisbane, these passengers have already the opportunity to visit our coast within 45 minutes, it is crazy to have 2 terminals so close, there is no way that this terminal can be justified. A dark and stormy cloud looms over our broadwater…the successful future existence of its marine environment is at stake.
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