Releasing the draft plan for public consultation, Fisheries Minister Gail Gago said it would provide a new 10-year framework for the management of the $20 million commercial fishery.
“The aim of the plan is to protect, manage use and develop the sardine resource in a manner that is consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development,” she said.
“It describes the characteristics of the fishery, details the rules for the harvesting of sardines, allocation of the resource and outlines stock assessment, monitoring, compliance and regulatory arrangements.”
Ms Gago said the draft plan would help protect and conserve resources.
The fishery is managed through an individual transferrable quota system, with a total allowable commercial catch (TACC) set for each year. The draft management plan provides a formal harvest strategy that guides annual TACC decisions at ecologically sustainable levels.
Under the current arrangements the TACC is divided equally between the 14 licence holders. The majority of the quota is used as food for the important Southern Bluefin Tuna aquaculture sector.
PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture will be holding public meetings in Adelaide and Port Lincoln as part of its public consultation on the draft plan, which has been developed as required under the Fisheries Management Act 2007.
The meetings will be held at the following locations:
• Adelaide – 14 November 2013, 5pm, Level 14, 25 Grenfell Street, Adelaide
• Port Lincoln – 18 November 2013, 5pm, Port Lincoln Hotel, Flinders Room.
The consultation period is open until Friday, 10 January 2014. For further information on the draft management plan for the South Australian and the consultation period visit: www.fisheriescouncil.sa.gov.au