Fish­ers call for flex­i­bil­ity on zones

South Western Times - - News - Michael Philipps

THE South­ern Seafood Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion WA has called on the State Gov­ern­ment to over­turn the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Aus­tralian sea lion ex­clu­sion zones as it de­nies ac­cess to com­mer­cial fish­ers’ tra­di­tional fish­ing zones.

Last month Fish­eries Min­is­ter Dave Kelly an­nounced the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ex­clu­sion zones in the south and South West of WA. Mr Kelly said the ex­clu­sion zones de­liv­ered on the State Gov­ern­ment com­mit­ment to ad­dress this lon­grun­ning is­sue and main­tain com­mer­cial fish­ing op­er­a­tions.

“We have ne­go­ti­ated with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to en­sure that these new zones are based on sci­ence and around known sea lion breed­ing colonies,” he said.

“The net­work of zones seek to bal­ance Aus­tralian sea lion con­ser­va­tion con­cerns, with the need to main­tain a vi­able com­mer­cial fish­ery that de­liv­ers eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fits to the com­mu­nity.

“Our com­mer­cial gill­net fish­ers will have to make some ad­just­ments and I ac­knowl­edge the im­pacts this will have on some fish­ers.”

As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Don Ni­cholls said busi­nesses would be forced to face mul­ti­ple chal­lenges.

“These are small fam­ily busi­nesses be­ing forced to in­vest time, money and ef­fort try­ing to find new ways to keep food on the table,” he said.

“This re­lates to their own fam­ily table and those of the 1.8 mil­lion WA con­sumers that don’t catch their own seafood.

“Our mem­bers ac­cept the need for con­ser­va­tion, they have been con­serv­ing fish stocks since the State was founded and South­ern Seafood Pro­duc­ers and the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­try and Re­gional Devel­op­ment agree there is a need for more sci­ence to sup­port an in­formed de­ci­sion on this mat­ter in WA.”

Pat­ter­son, page 10

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.