Friday, February 15, 2019

Media release from the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Richard Colbeck

Aquatic animal welfare concerns and marine biosecurity will be among the key topics discussed at the fifth Australian Fisheries Ministers’ meeting in Melbourne today.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, will chair the meeting and said the forum provided an opportunity for federal, state and territory governments to speak frankly about issues relating to Australian fisheries.

“Australia’s fisheries are precious resources that need to be managed carefully to ensure that our fish stocks are sustained for future generations,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Australia’s national fisheries and aquaculture production provides more than 24,000 Aussie jobs and was valued at around $3 billion in 2016–17.”

At the meeting Ministers will discuss progress on the outcomes of the last Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting, as well as Indigenous fisheries initiatives, and emerging international seafood trade requirements around traceability and sustainability.

Consistent approaches to addressing animal welfare considerations in the seafood sector will be a focus, which would see the states and territories working together through the Australian Fisheries Management Forum to encourage best practice across the industry.

“During the meeting I will provide an update on Commonwealth managed fisheries, including the National Plan of Action for Minimising the Incidental Catch of Seabirds,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The revised Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and Bycatch Policy, and transitioning Commonwealth and State/Territory-managed Joint Authority fisheries to single jurisdiction management will also feature.

“Australia has a reputation as a world leader in fisheries management, and I am proud to say that this year—for the fifth year in a row—no solely Commonwealth Government managed fish stock has been classified as subject to overfishing.

“Through collaboration with the states and territories, the Liberal National Government will continue to champion effective marine management strategies to ensure the fisheries sector remains strong for generations to come.”

A communique will be made available following the meeting: agriculture.gov.au/about/media-centre/communiques#fisheries-ministers-meeting.

Media contact
Felix Ellis, 0457 517 734