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Torres Strait Fishery to be Owned by Islanders

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

AUSTRALIA - The Torres Strait Finfish Fishery has become the first wholly traditionally owned commercial fishery in Australia to have a Statutory Management Plan, giving greater certainty to fishers and the community.

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Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, announced the plan at a meeting with the Torres Strait Regional Authority on Thursday Island.

“This Plan will give Torres Strait communities greater certainty about future access to fish resources and more opportunity to develop their fishing interests,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Formalising the management arrangements under a legislative Plan will ensure the sustainable commercial harvest of finfish stocks into the future.

“I’m pleased to be in the Torres Strait to make this important announcement with community leaders last night, I’ll be meeting with the community across the rest of the week.

“This Plan sustains the traditional way of life and at the same time promotes economic development in the Torres Strait. This will provide greater employment opportunities in the region.

“Fishing has been and will continue to be a vital source of food, income and culture in the Torres Strait. The Finfish Management Plan is a significant and positive step forward.”

The Plan supports participation in the fishery by non-traditional inhabitants through leasing arrangements.

Minister Ludwig is the Chair of the Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA), which manages fisheries in the Torres Strait Protected Zone against Australia’s rights and obligations under the Torres Strait Treaty with Papua New Guinea.

The Queensland Government and the Torres Strait Regional Authority are also members of the PZJA.