Australia may licence scuba diving

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Posted by on September 23, 2005 at 14:59:09:

THE NSW government is considering establishing an annual licence for scuba divers similar to that required by recreational fishers.

Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald today said the scheme would involve the creation of an independent scuba diving trust, made up of industry members, who would allocate licence costs to programs to improve amenities for divers.

Mr Macdonald said the trust also could invest funds towards programs to protect the habitat areas of the critically endangered grey nurse shark.

"The state government was previously considering introducing a fee to dive in these areas but the licence system will be simpler and fairer instead of paying a fee for each dive in the habitat sites, divers will now have an annual fee," Mr Macdonald said.

He said he had recently met senior diving industry representatives, who expressed support for the proposal.

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