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Consultation Begins on Plan for Lake Eyre Basin Fisheries

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AUSTRALIA - The State Government has released the draft Management Plan for the Lake Eyre Basin fisheries for public consultation until 17 August 2012.

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Minister for Fisheries, Gail Gago said the public consultation process provided an important opportunity for the local community to contribute to future management arrangements for the fishery.

The three month consultation period allows for the community to provide careful and considered input into the draft Management Plan for the Lake Eyre Basin fisheries, Minister Gago said.

The Lake Eyre Basin Fishery is one of the largest internally draining river systems in the world and its natural environment is unique, relatively undisturbed and includes sites of high conservation significance that support wetlands such as the Ramsar-listed Coongie Lakes.

The plan will provide a strategic policy framework for management of the commercial, recreational and Aboriginal traditional fishing sectors in the region.

The Lake Eyre Basin fishery boasts only a single commercial licence holder operating in Lake Hope and Red Lake during flood periods, which occur approximately once in every 10 years.

The Basins importance as a fishing resource is also of particular significance to Aboriginal people, including the Yandruwandha Yawarrawarrka People, with an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) recently established between the state and the Yandruwandha Yawarrawarrka Native Title claim group.

As part of the draft plan, a Yandruwandha Yawarrawarrka Traditional Fishing Management Plan has been developed to guide implementation of the ILUA and manage Aboriginal traditional fishing activities in the Lake Eyre region, Minister Gago said.

The plan also includes an assessment of risks to the ecologically sustainable development of the fishery and provides strategies to address them.

In particular, the risk assessment highlights the critical importance of permanent waterholes and the introduction of pest species to the health of the aquatic ecosystem.

Public meetings will be held in May and June for interested stakeholders to attend. An Adelaide meeting will be held on Wednesday 30 May 2012 at the North Adelaide Golf Course, Strangways Terrace, North Adelaide at 7pm. A meeting will also be held in Port Augusta on Wednesday 6 June 2012 at the Port Augusta Golf Club, Hamilton Road, Port Augusta at 7pm. Please register your attendance by 23 May 2012 by emailing or calling 8226 8103.

Responses to the plan must be provided in writing by 17 August 2012. Copies of the draft plan, a summary report and feedback form can be downloaded from the Fisheries Council website. Alternatively, hard copies can be requested by calling 8226 8103.

A public hearing will also be held on Thursday 23 August 2012 at Level 14, 25 Grenfell Street Adelaide from 10.30am - 11.30am. Please register your attendance by 16 August 2012 by emailing or calling 8226 2065.