A region in transition : the dispute over 'making the most' of the Manning River fishery

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- This thesis investigates the history of fishing in the estuary of the Manning River, NSW by looking at the questions which were at the centre of the recent dispute around the establishment of a Recreational Fishing Area (RFA) in 2002. The RFAs are an innovation of the NSW State Government, and seem to shift the government’s interest from commercial fishing to recreational fishing in the state’s rivers. This shift of focus was accompanied by bitter disputes in the Manning River Valley, with all sides arguing from different figures and facts about alleged declines in fish numbers and the causes of such declines – with claims and counterclaims about the sustainability of both commercial and recreational fishing in the estuary. This thesis examines three ways to look at the changes over time in the river and its catchment: economic, demographic and environmental. It then looks at the debates over the recent establishment of the RFA on the Manning, and considers the ways in which people expressed their points of view while forming alliances both for and against the RFA proposal. The thesis concludes by discussing possible answers to the question of the sustainability of the Manning River fishery, and considers the new alignment of social and economic power which has brought the RFA into existence.
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