Long-term sustainable fish stocks and profitable businesses are the focus of a Commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery reform consultation paper which is open for industry feedback for another week.
The industry consultation paper explores options to reduce the number of commercial licence holders, the creation of regional zones and a modern management regime, including individual transferable quotas for key species.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said creating more sustainable fisheries in South Australia was crucial for the future of commercial fishing in this state.
“This Commercial Marine Scalefish reform will be the most important change to the fishery in decades. The reform must address the major underlying problem in the fishery: too many fishers for too few fish,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is delivering on its election commitment to investigate and implement key reforms in the fishery and I encourage all individual marine scalefish fishers to have their say on the design of the proposed reforms to help inform new policy.
“Over a long period of time we have seen a decline in fish stocks, a reduction in total commercial catch and increasing average costs of catching fish.
“There has been far too little action to address these problems for far too long.
“South Australia’s Commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery needs reforming to ensure sustainable fish stocks and a viable industry into the future.
“I thank the industry-led Commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery Reform Advisory Committee for their consultation paper, and the Marine Fishers Association Industry Forum for their input into the process.
“Now is the time for individual commercial fishers to have their say on the options put forward by the committee in the consultation paper.”
The consultation paper has been sent to all relevant commercial licence holders and is available for industry feedback until Friday 11 October 2019.
More than 220 licence holders have attended regional consultation meetings to discuss the consultation paper in Yorketown, Wallaroo, Port Pirie, Ceduna, Port Lincoln, Cape Jervis and Port Adelaide.
At the end of the consultation, the Commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery Reform Advisory Committee will consider all industry feedback and develop a final report of industry’s preferred reform design which will be presented to the State Government for consideration in early November.
To access the consultation paper visit https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing/commercial_fishing/fisheries/marine_scalefish_fishery