Fishers are being encouraged to have their say on new plans to transition the New South Wales (NSW) Southern Fish Trawl Fishery (SFTF) into the Commonwealth trawl sector of the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF).
The NSW Government and the Australian Government are encouraging NSW and Commonwealth fishers and other interested parties to comment on the proposed new arrangements.
NSW Department of Primary Industries Deputy Director General Fisheries, Dr Geoff Allan, said that under the proposed arrangements NSW SFTF fishers would be managed by the Australian Government under its quota management system.
“We are commencing a new chapter of managing this fishery, so it’s important we take a fresh approach and get the details right, to ensure sustainability now and in the future,” Dr Allan said.
“The transition will remove the need for the trip limits, which were implemented in the 1990s to assist the Commonwealth in maintaining the integrity of its quota management system.
“A series of targeted consultation sessions are now underway to seek input and feedback from commercial fishers and industry associations impacted by the transition.”
Australian Fisheries Management Authority CEO, Dr James Findlay, said that fishers transitioning to Commonwealth management will benefit from the removal of red tape.
“This transition will mean that fish stocks in the two fisheries will be managed by one jurisdiction, removing unnecessary duplication and administrative burden for operators,” Dr Findlay said.
“Both NSW and Commonwealth authority holders will see benefits from the transition including the streamlining of management arrangements and increased certainty of access to fish.
“Once the transition has been completed, fishers who previously held a NSW endorsement will receive fishing permits that will enable them continue to access the same waters and quota in the Commonwealth SESSF while the grant of quota statutory fishing rights are made.”
The transition aims to be completed by 1 May 2019, which coincides with the start of the 2019-20 SESSF fishing season.