My colleague Tod Spencer and I visited Norfolk Island at the start of May to talk with the community about the management of the Norfolk Island Inshore fishery, also known as the ‘MoU Box’.
Our main reason for visiting was to discuss the review of the Fishery Management Policy for the Inshore fishery that was developed in 2009. In particular the need to recognise the important roles that the Council and Fishing Association will have in managing the fishery going forward.
We were pleased to be on Norfolk Island with our colleagues from Parks Australia, John and Fran, who were there to discuss the management of the marine park that is due to come into effect on 1 July 2018.
Our four day visit allowed us to meet with a wide cross section of the community, including the Island Administrator, Norfolk Island Regional Council, the Council of Elders, the Norfolk Island Fishing Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the Flora and Fauna Society. We were warmly received by everyone and the discussions we had were productive and informative.
It was heartening to hear and experience the passion that Norfolk Islanders have for the fishery and its importance to the livelihood of so many, and also the sustenance of the community.
Together we agreed that the Fishing Association will commence the initial review of the Policy, which will then undergo consultation with the community and stakeholders, with a view to signing a new policy later this year.
We would like to thank everyone we met for making us feel so welcome and we’re aiming to be back on Norfolk Island later this year when the draft new Policy is ready for public consultation, so we can answer any questions and to discuss any proposed changes.
By Brodie Macdonald, Australian Fisheries Management Authority