Fishing industry set for major reform

Fishing industry set for major reform

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The commercial marine scalefish fishing industry is expected to face reform with the goal to ensure long-term sustainability of fish stocks, balanced with profitable businesses.

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The commercial marine scalefish fishing industry is expected to face reform with the goal to ensure long-term sustainability of fish stocks, balanced with profitable businesses.

An industry consultation paper explores options to reduce the number of commercial licence holders, the creation of regional zones and a management regime that includes individual tranferrable quotas for key species.

The consultation paper has been sent to all relevant commercial licence holders and is available for industry feedback until Friday, October 11.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said creating more sustainable fisheries in SA 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," he said.

"The reform must address the major underlying problem in the fishery - too many fishers for too few fish.

"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."

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Mr Whetstone said action was needed to address these issues.

"SA's Commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery needs reforming to ensure sustainable fish stocks and a viable industry into the future," he said.

"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."

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.

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