GREEN groups have asked for a ban on fishing in the two new marine parks, which will be set up as part of a $15 million project. The Marine Parks Bill was gazetted yesterday and, if passed, would enable the conservation of ecologically important marine areas. The first phase of the bill would see the establishment of marine parks at Hoi Ha Wan and Yan Chau Tong, both near Mirs Bay, and a marine reserve at Cape D'Aguilar. Although green groups have applauded the move, they feel the parks should ban all fishing. The bill allows fishermen who have traditionally fished in these areas to continue as long as they use legal methods. 'The park will adopt a multi-use philosophy and allow existing fishing, as long as it is not detrimental to the environment, to continue,' an Agriculture and Fisheries Department spokesman said. 'The existing fishing will be controlled by a licensing system. The preliminary idea is that it would be a free licence. 'Recreational activities will be allowed in the parks and will be controlled by licences. 'It is a practical package and although the fishermen may at first feel they are disadvantaged they will see that it will benefit them in the long run.' Local fishermen have complained that the parks will restrict their fishing. But green groups point out that parks serve as breeding and hatching grounds and in the long run will benefit the fishing industry. 'Any step in this direction is a step forward,' World Wide Fund for Nature spokesman Jo Ruxton said. 'But they should tighten up the fishing rules and ban gill net fishing for the next few year. Gill nets are like mini-drift nets. If you go diving you will see gill nets on the coral and the skeletons of marine animals which have been caught. 'When marine parks were first set up in New Zealand the fishermen fought against them, but when they saw how the fishing stocks grew because of the parks they began to patrol the areas against poachers.' The Agriculture and Fisheries Department will be hiring an estimated 20 to 30 new staff to patrol the designated park and reserve areas. Management centres are scheduled to start construction this year, but the Government has yet to decide whether to build one at each park site. 'The cost will be $12 million in capital cost for the first year to build the centre, piers, buy patrol boats and set up the operation,' a spokesman said. 'Then we have to consider the cost of the extra staff which should be two or three million more. 'Over $700,000 will be set aside to compensate any fishermen affected by the plan.'