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Friday, 23 November 1979
Page: 2884

Senator WEBSTER -Recently Senator Martinasked me the following question:

Will the Government give urgent consideration to the suggestion that observers be placed on Japanese fishing boats in order to monitor marlin catches in waters off north Queensland.

The Minister for Primary Industry has provided me with the following response: The Government has in hand arrangements for the monitoring of the marlin catch in waters off north Queensland this season. A working group has been established by the Government comprising Commonwealth and State fisheries officials, together with game fishing representatives, to monitor closely and to collate information on the marlin catch in this area during the 12 months that the Australia-Japan fisheries agreement is in operation. The working group is to have its first meeting towards the end of this month. In the meantime, the Department of Transport navigational aids vessels Lumen and the Cape Pilar, with Department of Primary Industry fisheries officers on board, are proceeding to assist in observing Japanese long-line operations in the area during December.

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