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New management arrangements for the south east trawl

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MEDIA RELEASEMinister for Primary Industries and EnergySimon Crean, MP DPEB91/312C 3 December 1991


Australia’s major fishery off the south east coast will be covered by a new management

plan designed to protect the fish stocks and the livelihood of fishermen, the M inister for

Primary Industries and Energy, Simon Crean, said today.

"The new plan recognises the long-term interests of fishing communities and will put

the stock management on a sustainable basis."

The M inister said the plan would be operational from 1 January, 1992.

Sixteen of the major fish species will be covered by total allowable catches (TACs) and

each eligible operator in the fishery will receive an individual quota for some or all of

these species.

"Individual transferable quotas (ITQs) which can be bought and sold are the

cornerstone of the new arrangements," M r Crean said.

“They will enable fishermen to manage their operations in a more businesslike manner.

Each operator will have a reliable share of the fishery rather than being forced to

compete when the conditions might not be optimal.

"Some fishermen will recognise that they do not have enough quota to be viable and

they will be able to either buy additional quota or sell to other operators. This will

provide the scope for some operators to leave the fishery with some financial gain," he


The Minister said there had been considerable debate within the industry about the

introduction of ITQs.


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

"I have heard arguments from all parts of the industry, but the decision I have made

recognises that the South East Trawl suffers from declining stock levels and historically

high levels o f overcapitalisation.

"I am also aware that the process of introducing ITQs into the South East Trawl has

been running for at least four years and has been agreed by the Australian Fisheries


"The remaining area of significant contention relates to the deepwater species, orange

roughy and blue grenadier. Some parts of industry have expressed their grave concerns

about the lack of scientific evidence about the stock levels of these species, particularly

in the Southern Zone of the fishery.

"In response to these concerns I have decided to quarantine a proportion of the quota

for each of these species. This will be dedicated to exploratory fishing."

M r Crean said the allocation of permits for the use of this quota will be the

responsibility of the new Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

AFM A will review the initial exploratory system after it has been operational for a year

and decide whether the quota will be reallocated to operators or retained for further

exploratory fishing.

Initially, 10 per cent of the orange roughy quota in the Southern Zone will be available

for exploratory fishing and five per cent of the Blue Grenadier quota available for work

in the W estern and Southern zones.

"Preference for quota access will be given to fishermen prepared to undertake

collaborative research activities with fisheries' scientists to help forge a closer

relationship between scientists and the industry, ensuring a more sustainable catch and

a m ore secure future," Mr Crean said.

Information: Catherine Payne, Minister's office (06) 277 7520.

G eoff G om e, Australian Fisheries Service (06) 272 5033.