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New Fisheries Strategy Will Boost Industry

by the Fish Site Editor
11 November 2009, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - The Bligh Government has approved the Queensland Fisheries Strategy 2009-2014 which sets the future direction for fisheries in Queensland.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said one of the major aims of the strategy was to reduce the complexity associated with fisheries management while also ensuring sustainability.

Mr Mulherin said: “Over many years, a vast amount of rules, regulations, limits and permit conditions have built up to cover fisheries management. In fact fisheries legislation in Queensland now totals 1375 pages.

“While this has helped to protect our resource we cannot continue with this approach. It is too complex, too cumbersome, too inflexible.

"We need to raise awareness of responsible fishing through education and training.

“We need to be more flexible by using guidelines and codes of practice, and cooperative or co-management arrangements ... rather than increasing the number of inflexible rules and regulations,” he said.

Mr Mulherin said the strategy would involve a partnership with industry so that the responsibilities and obligations for sustainable management were negotiated and shared.

Aside from reducing complexity, the strategy emphasised three key areas: protecting habitat, managing harvest and maximising the value of Queensland’s fishing industry.

“To secure fish populations into the future we must carefully conserve and manage fish habitats from key threats," Mr Mulherin said.

“With more than 1500 commercial fishing licences and about 750,000 recreational fishers in Queensland, managing harvest will always be a challenge.

“Maximising the value of Queensland's fisheries is important in securing the long-term profitability of the State’s fishing industries and our strategy has a strong focus on industry development.

“Aquaculture will be a key focus. With global demand for seafood burgeoning and wild-catch fisheries struggling to meet demand, aquaculture is gaining an increasing share of global markets. We must also enhance the recreational fishing experience for both Queenslanders and those who come from interstate and abroad.

“Input into the strategy from our stakeholders has been extremely important and they will be a key to our future success.

“The new fisheries strategy meets the Q2 ambitions of ‘strong’ and ‘green’ - helping to create a diverse economy and protecting Queensland’s fisheries resources,” Mr Mulherin said.

the Fish Site Editor