A secure future now closer for shark fishers
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has welcomed a decision from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) which will see shark fishers in the Commonwealth Southern and Eastern Shark and Scalefish Fishery move one step closer to being allocated secure fishing rights.
Under the fishery’s management plan, AFMA grants statutory fishing rights to operators. Statutory fishing rights replace the annual fishing permits which fishers were required to renew each year.
These rights provide operators the equivalent of a ‘share’ in the fishery which will allow AFMA and the industry to achieve a sustainable marine environment and a secure commercial fishing industry.
The AAT decision rejected a challenge to the formula which is used to allocate how much catch (quota) each fisher has been allocated. The AAT found that the quota system used in the fishery is the ‘preferable way to allocate quota’.
The AAT also found that the assessment of the stock was reasonable and that the total allowable catches in the fishery were the appropriate and preferable quantities.
AFMA has actively sought industry consultation throughout the process of quota allocations, and many industry members took the opportunity to be involved throughout the AAT hearing.
AFMA’s Managing Director, Richard McLoughlin, said that AFMA is now one step closer to granting statutory fishing rights and ensuring a secure future for fishers and the fishery.
“AFMA, and the majority of fishers, are keen to get on with the job of ensuring a secure and sustainable future for fishers and the fishery.
“Once the fishing rights have been allocated, operators will be able to buy and sell variable amounts of shark quota freely. This means industry members will be able to finally enjoy the full benefits of quota management, “ he said.
Statement ends/29 September 2005
Contact: Clare Hogan, Communications, Telephone: (02) 6272 4511, Mobile: 0403 068 013
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