Commercial rock lobster fishers will be able to carry-over uncaught quota and have extended fishing seasons in temporary changes to help fishers manage the financial impacts of global market disruptions.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said changes are being introduced at the request of the state’s rock lobster fishers and will help the industry which has experienced a challenging 12 months.
“The Marshall Liberal Government strongly supports our commercial rock lobster industry and has been working with industry leaders to implement assistance measures,” Minister Basham said.
“To help navigate the current market turbulence, our fishers have requested extended fishing seasons as well as the opportunity to carry over quota.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is pleased to support these requests and provide fishers with the flexibility they need, so long as the sustainability of our premium fish species is protected.
“At the request of the South Eastern Professional Fishermen’s Association, southern zone rock lobster fishers will be granted additional time to catch their quota this year, with the current season being extended to 31 July 2021 and the next season opening early on 15 September 2021.
“Southern zone rock lobster fishers will also be granted the option to carry-over up to 20 per cent of their quota entitlements from this season to the next, if they do not catch all their quota, as recommended by industry.”
Minister Basham said carry-over of all uncaught quota from the inner region of the northern zone will be allowed consistent with the recommendation of the South Australian Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishermen’s Association.
“These changes build on similar flexible arrangements for fisheries introduced last year in response to COVID-19 market disruptions and I thank all fishers who engaged with their local industry representatives to reach these recommendations,” Minister Basham said.
“South Australia’s rock lobster industry is incredibly important to our state economy supporting thousands of jobs and the sector has endured a challenging past year through the double impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes to trade with China.”
The South Australian Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishermen’s Association Executive Officer Kyri Toumazos said the decision to allow carry over of quota this season for both regions of the northern fishery was a huge relief for the industry.
“With the impact of COVID-19 and the trade issues with China it has been a very difficult year for the industry and this announcement will certainly help,” Mr Toumazos said.