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Call to bring Qld fisheries management into the 21st Century.

As the initial call for input into the Queensland fisheries review comes to a close CAFNEC has today called on the Government to live up to expectation and deliver long overdue reform for fisheries management.

CAFNEC Marine Programs Coordinator and Marine Biologist Josh Coates said:

Sharks caught as bycatch in fishing nets targeting Grey Mackerel spawning aggregations. Photo (c) Dave Cook

Sharks caught as bycatch in fishing nets targeting Grey Mackerel spawning aggregations. Photo (c) Dave Cook

“CAFNEC welcomes any review of Queensland’s outdated and ineffective fisheries management and we congratulate the Government in initiating this process.

“We have provided input into the process and we hope to see real reform on a number of fronts.

“What we need to do is bring Queensland’s fisheries management into the 21st century.  We should be looking for maximum economic return with minimal ecological impact and this will require changes to the way we do things.

“We support fishers who want to see management on a more regional scale to encourage local stewardship without the threat of operators from other regions coming in and overfishing local populations.

“Many species such as threadfin salmon, grey mackerel and even barramundi have very localised populations and they should be managed that way. State-wide quotas fail to recognise the potential for localised depletion of certain species. If breeding stocks of fish like salmon are cleaned up in nets there is not going to be replenishment of the stocks from other areas.

“We are calling for the outcomes of the review to address issues like bycatch and waste of unwanted species in nets and the impacts on species such as dugongs and turtles. We think that there are some real win-win outcomes to be had by closing to netting some areas close to towns or of high ecological significance. This increases recreational fishing opportunity, provides environmental outcomes and commercial fishers should be compensated and allowed to fish elsewhere or helped to transition to other work.

“By managing fisheries using a whole of ecosystem approach rather than just managing each individual species for maximum sustainable catch, we make it easier for individual commercial fishers to make a living, we protect our tourism industry, increase recreational fishing opportunity and most importantly protect our environment.

“This approach is known as ecosystem based management (EBM) and in practice results in more fish in the ocean while allowing fishers to expend less effort to harvest at sustainable levels making more profit.

“Of course the transition will not be easy and the Government will need to help commercial fishers as we repair some of the mistakes made in the past.

View our feedback to the fisheries management review here. CAFNEC submission to Qld fisheries review

This article is adapted from the a CAFNEC media release 30/10/14

Media contact: Josh Coates, Marine Programs Coordinator, (07) 4032 1586, marine [at] cafnec.org.au

Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2014/10/30/call-to-bring-qld-fisheries-management-into-the-21st-century/