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Crean agrees to review of fisheries quota allocations

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DPDE92/5C 3 February 1992


The newly-formed Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) will be asked to oversee a review of aspects of quotas recently introduced in the South East Trawl Fishery, the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, Simon Crean said today.

Mr Crean was speaking after meeting two separate groups representing the NSW fishing industry: the NSW Trawler Owners Association (TOA) and the Four Ports Committee.

“The two groups both agreed with me that there was a need to rationalise the fishing effort in the region since there was now too many boats for the fish that were available”, Mr Crean said.

“They also agreed that the use of Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) operating within Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for each species were the most effective method for achieving the rationalisation”, he said.

The groups differed in their views about the best way to address the situation that had arisen in allocating the quota to individual fishermen.

“I accepted the proposal from the TOA that I would ask AFMA to review the allocation formula if anomalies emerged once all formal appeals had been considered and an independent audit of the methodology had been completed.

“I told the Four Ports Committee that I would seek advice from fisheries scientists on the scope for increasing the TACs for several species in order to achieve the ‘tonne per unit’ allocation that they were seeking.

Increases in catches will only be considered if fishery resources are not put in jeopmdy.

Mr Crean stressed to both groups that it was important that any changes to the current arrangements result in all fishermen throughout the SE Trawl receiving fair and equitable treatment

“I was concerned that both Groups who met with me today were not able to reach a common position and I encouraged them to meet together to resolve their differences”, Mr Crean said.

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600. Telephone: (0 6)277 7520 Facsimile: (06)273 4120

Contact: Catherine Payne (06) 277 7520