Temporary support measures including carry-over of uncaught quota and extended fishing seasons have been introduced to help commercial rock lobster fishers manage the financial impacts of disruptions to global markets.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said changes were being introduced at the request of the state's rock lobster fishers and will help an industry that has experienced a challenging 12 months.
"The SA government strongly supports our commercial rock lobster industry and has been working with industry leaders to implement assistance measures," he 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 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."
Mr Basham said southern zone rock lobster fishers would be granted additional time to catch their quota, with the present season extended until July 31, and the next season opening early on September 15.
"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," he said.
Mr Basham said carry-over of all uncaught quota from the inner region of the northern zone would 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," he said.
"SA'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."
SA 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," he said.
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