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Strict controls to apply on soviet fishing vessels

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Simon Crean, MP

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MEDIA RELEASEMinister for Primary Industries and Energy

DPIE91/326C 16 December 1991


The Federal Government has given its approval for two Soviet fishing vessels to land their catch in Tasmania for processing under joint venture operations.

The M inister for Prim ary Industries and Energy, Simon Crean, said today the joint ventures which involved two Tasmanian companies, Tas Grays and Trident Seafoods, would help ensure a reliable supply of fish to the Tasm anian processing industry.

The fish will be caught in waters outside the 200 mile limit of the A ustralian Fishing Zone (AFZ).

"Strict conditions will apply to the operation of the vessels to ensure th a t the interests of domestic fishermen are protected, particularly in relation to the potential impact of Soviet fishing on stocks adjacent to the AFZ which Eire of interest to Australia," he said.

"The Soviet vessels will be fitted with satellite position transponders and will carry A ustralian observers whenever they fish near the AFZ. They will also be providing detailed scientific data on catch taken in little known areas outside the AFZ.

"The costs of monitoring the Soviet fishing operations will be shared by the Federal Government and the Tasm anian Government."

The M inister said these joint ventures had been developed under the Australia-USSR Fisheries Co-operation agreement, which was signed

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600. Telephone: (0 6 )2 7 7 7520 Facsimile: (0 6 )2 7 3 4120

in 1990.

The approvals are for a period of up to twelve months. Mr Crean said the ventures would be closely monitored to ensure they continued to provide real benefits to Australia.

"The w aters outside the AFZ are open to fishing by fleets from any country. I would like to emphasise however th at the joint ventures do not involve Soviet vessels fishing in Australian waters," he said.

Information: Catherine Payne, Minister's office (06) 277 7520. David Barnes, Australian Fisheries Service, (06) 272 5033.