Queenslanders with an interest in the state’s landmark Sustainable Fisheries Strategy have another three weeks before consultation on the latest phase of reforms closes.
Acting Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Yvette D’Ath said public consultation on draft fisheries harvest strategies is open and expressions of interest are sought for stakeholders to join fishery working groups.
“Finalising harvest strategies is a key step to enable our fisheries and fishing stakeholders to be ready for new management arrangements on 1 September 2021,” Ms D’Ath said.
“Public consultation has been a key tenet of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy since the reforms commenced and this is a continuation of that process.
“A formal period of consultation by Fisheries Queensland is open until 31 January 2021 and I encourage all fishing stakeholders to provide feedback on the harvest strategies online.”
Ms D’Ath said nominations are also open for membership of ten fishery working groups which are integral to delivering world-class fisheries management reforms.
“This is an exciting opportunity to be part of sustainable fisheries management,” she said.
“Fishery working groups provide important operational advice on the management of specific fisheries and serve as an effective communication and consultative forum between fishing stakeholders, Fisheries Queensland and the government.
“Fisheries Queensland is seeking a range of stakeholders including commercial and recreational fishers, charter operators, seafood marketers and processors and people with conservation experience to join the fishery working groups.”
Under the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy, working group membership is renewed every two years, and members of the original fishery working groups have been thanked for their efforts.
“The initial working groups were very effective in narrowing down reform options, developing 13 draft harvest strategies and leveraging operational knowledge and advice from fishing stakeholders,” she said.
Two new fishery working groups will review Gulf of Carpentaria inshore and East Coast Spanish mackerel fisheries while the Rocky Reef Working Group will be re-formed to continue its work.
Seven other fishery working groups are also being re-formed to continue implementing harvest strategies and monitor performance.
Ms D’Ath said a new Vessel Tracking Working Group will be established and a dedicated e-hub engagement portal has been launched for stakeholders as part of a Fisheries Queensland review of vessel tracking.
“Vessel tracking is an important for part of providing ongoing commercial access to fisheries resources and the Queensland Government wants to work with commercial fishers to address their issues and find workable solutions,” she said.
Expressions of interest to join the new fishery working groups, including the new Vessel Tracking Working Group, are due by 31 January 2021, with the first meetings likely to commence in March 2021.
To nominate for the fishery working groups, provide feedback on the draft harvest strategies or view the vessel tracking portal, visit https://daf.engagementhub.com.au/.