The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) will be expanding its presence in Lakes Entrance with a regional office set to open in early 2018.
In making the announcement, AFMA Chair, Helen Kroger said that the decision was made after successfully trialling a Lakes Entrance based Liaison Officer for the last two years.
“Since 2015 AFMA, in conjunction with the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA), has had a dedicated AFMA staff member based in the area to work directly with the trawl industry on a daily basis,” Ms Kroger said.
“This has proven successful for both industry and AFMA.
“AFMA looks forward to expanding this work.”
About six AFMA staff will be based at Lakes Entrance carrying out both fisheries management and compliance functions.
AFMA’s CEO Dr James Findlay echoed Ms Kroger stating that successful fisheries management depended on a collaborative approach.
“AFMA works together with the commercial and recreational fishing industries, scientists and environmental stakeholders to help ensure that current and future generations have a healthy supply of Australian seafood,” Dr Findlay said.
“Lakes Entrance is one of AFMA’s largest fishing ports with vessels and industry representatives from the trawl, gillnet, scallop, squid, small pelagic and line fisheries all residing there or using the port throughout the year.
“As such, the expansion of our office in the area makes good business sense for both AFMA and industry.
“The existing Liaison Officer position has already proven invaluable on projects like reducing bycatch of protected species, bycatch education programs, and the roll-out of electronic logbook reporting.”
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