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Oz Fisheries Minister Eases WA Lobster Restrictions

by 5m Editor
5 May 2009, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - Acting Fisheries Minister Simon OBrien today announced an easing of tough new measures put in place to protect the long-term sustainability of Western Australias rock lobster industry

Mr O’Brien said recent reductions in pot numbers, the imposition of a four-day fishing week and size restrictions had achieved the State Government’s goal of reducing this season’s predicted lobster catch of 9,200 tonnes to below the target of 7,800 tonnes, reports BYM Marine Environment.

“In line with Fisheries Minister Norman Moore’s promise to review the new measures if they proved to be successful, I am announcing that lobster fishers will be given an extra day each week to operate,” he said.

“The Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee (RLIAC) has reviewed the latest catch predictions for this season and recommended that commercial fishers return to fishing on Mondays in May and June - allowing five days of fishing each week.

“Commercial rock lobster fishing can recommence on Mondays, from May 4 for the remainder of the season and I expect that this will enable fishers to capitalise on the increase in market price which is usually achieved towards the end of the season.”

The Acting Minister warned that lobster fishers should not take the easing of restrictions as a sign that the fishery was in good shape. “With the lowest puerulus (juvenile rock lobster) settlement on record this year, urgent steps had to be taken to bolster levels of breeding lobsters as well as to ensure carry-over stocks are available for poor seasons expected in the next few years,” he said.

“This situation has not changed and the fishery remains in a precarious position. "

5m Editor