Devaluing cray fishers’ livelihoods
I agree with the recent comments by Professor Jessica Meeuwig, inaugural director of The Centre for Marine Futures at the University of WA, that increasing the crayfish quota to 8000 tonnes is a cavalier approach.
She noted the breeding stocks that are currently reported to be low in some areas of the coast would be affected.
Why would the Minister of Fisheries Dave Kelly threaten an already fragile industry?
The commercial West Coast Rock Lobster (Managed) Fishery was the first in the world to be accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council as an ecologically sustainable fishery, a major achievement.
The industry contributes $28 million to the economy, with a gross value product of $500 million.
Nationalising this or any industry is a sovereign risk and will potentially devalue a valuable asset.
We need to ask ourselves, is this what we want our representative’s to legislate on our behalf ?
There are at least four generations of families in WA who started the crayfishing industry.
They lived in poverty to make ends meet, scrimping and saving to meet the demands the industry asked of them.
From those efforts we now have a lucrative and well-managed, sustainable industry. Mr Kelly talks about growing the industry. Nationalising it is not the way forward.
To this date, the industry has been managed professionally. The success of the fisheries is testament to that. Let us not destroy a sustainable enterprise.
Kerri Adams, Fremantle
(Our correspondent’s family has been involved in crayfishing out of Fremantle since 1908).
Professor Jessica Meeuwig