(QldGovSpin) Consultative inshore fishery review - coming soon

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 10/08/2004 - 14:45

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries will soon start community consultation for the proposed Fisheries (East Coast Inshore Fin Fish) Management Plan, Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Henry Palaszczuk announced today at the Straddie Fishing Classic, North Stradbroke Island.

Primary Industries & Fisheries, Henry Palaszczuk


Mr Palaszczuk said the inshore fin fishery's management arrangements would be reviewed over an 18-month period starting with a discussion paper to be released later this year.

He said the process would culminate in the implementation of a management plan to protect and conserve this critical commercial and recreational fishery.

"The inshore fin fishery consists of a number of bread and butter species such as tailor, bream, whiting and flathead as well as commercial net fisheries, and any proposed changes to management arrangements need to be reviewed in consultation with industry and the community," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"It is important we begin the process to find the b estsolutiontoprotectthesevaluablefisheriesresourcesratherthanwaituntilstocksareatacriticallevel.

"The proposed Fisheries (East Coast Inshore Fin Fish) Management Plan will help to consolidate the good work already been done to safeguard fish stocks."

Mr Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government was committed to sustaining fisheries resources and once completed this would be the third major management plan to be considered within the past five years.

Mr Palaszczuk also said he recognised the fishing industry had undergone enormous change recently and that this change has come at a cost to some stakeholders.

"The Fisheries (East Coast Trawl) Management Plan 1999 was received with a great deal of controversy when introduced but has since been extremely successful in providing for an economically viable, yet sustainable trawl fishery. The recently introduced Fisheries (Coral Reef Fin Fish) Management Plan 2003 has also caused legitimate concern amongst stakeholders but we are confident that it will also prove to be a success in the medium and long term" he said.

Mr Palaszczuk assured fishing sectors that a full consultation and negotiation process would be carried out.

"We do not want to rush into this important issue and exacerbate the feeling of instability that many in the fishing industry are currently experiencing. We have had discussions with industry groups outlining some of the major issues to be considered so that the plan can be based on a "bottom-up approach"," he said.

"When the discussion paper is released we will also be strongly encouraging the Queensland public to have their say on the reforms.

"Queenslanders will have a second opportunity to comment when formal proposals are made in a Regulatory Impact Statement that will be released next year."

The review will consider new size and take and possession limits for key fish species, the need for new spawning season closures, simplifying commercial netting regulations and addressing the long-term management of shark stocks.

Mr Palaszczuk said in addition to East Coast Trawl and Coral Reef Fin Fish, management plans have also been developed since 1999 for the Spanner Crab, Gulf of Carpentaria Inshore Fin Fish and Freshwater fisheries.

The VB Straddie Classic is one of Australia's premier fishing competitions and attracts some 1500 entrants each year.

Media contact: Sue Tierney 3239 3007 or 0408 180 152



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