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Time Ticking Away for Queensland Comments

AUSTRALIA - Responses on proposed changes to the East Coast Trawl, Finfish (Stout Whiting) Trawl, East Coast Tropical Rock Lobster, Crab and Freshwater fisheries are due to the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries by 5pm on Wednesday, August 27.

DPI&F Fisheries Resource Manager Andrew Thwaites said more than 60 written responses had already been received and more than 150 people attended the consultation meetings.

"The Combined Fisheries Management Regulatory Impact Statement and draft Public Benefit Test (Combined RIS) contains a number of positive changes that aim to improve the profitability and sustainability of the commercial fishing industry in Queensland," Mr Thwaites said.

"A number of the proposed changes have been suggested through stakeholder, industry or public forums.

"Some proposals have been recommended to improve sustainability, while others are commitments that the Queensland Government has made with the Australia Government."

"The feedback we receive will be critical when reviewing and refining these proposals before they are implemented.

"Our goal is to develop rules which are fair and equitable to those using this resource, as well as ensuring the fishery is protected and sustainable for future generations to enjoy.

"DPI&F is very aware of the difficulties facing the fishing industry at this time with factors such as record high fuel costs, competition from imported seafood, a strong Australian dollar and labour shortages all negatively impacting on the industry.

"Therefore all stakeholders who have an interest in this fishery are strongly encouraged to become involved in the consultation process."