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Protection of Continental Shelf resources

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Protection of Continental Shelf Resources

The Minister for Primary Industry, Mr. Anthony, today

announced details of the resources of the continental shelf

which would be protected by the Continental Shelf (Living

Natural Resources) Act as from rednesday, 15th April, 1970.

B,Rr. Anthony said controlled areas had been established

in Victoria for oysters and abalone; in Tasmania for sea

urchins, abalone and bailer shells; in Western Australia

for beche-de-mer, pearl shell, razor fish, abalone, trochus

and green snail and in the Northern Territory and the Ashmore

and Cartier Islands for sponges, bech_e-de-mer and all

sedentary molluscs.

In Queensland, controlled areas had been established

for all corals, sea urchins, beche-de-mer and all kinds of

sedentary molluscs.

Mr. Anthony said: "The effects of the controlled

areas are firstly that the commercial taking, from the

listed areas of continental shelf, of any of the sedentary

organisms mentioned will henceforth require to be carried

out under the authority of a Commonwealth licence.

"Secondly, conservation measures may be introduced

to protect any of the species concerned from over-exploitation.


"The conservation measures so far introduced include

minimum sizes for pearl shell, trochus and green snail, a

complete prohibition on the taking of those species and of

beche-de-mer by trawling or dredging and a prohibition on

their removal from the continental shelf unless they are dead.

"This last prohibition has been introduced to

control the removal of live pearl shell for purposes of

pearl culture, for which special permits will be issued to

approved operators. These measures have exactly the same

effect as those formerly in operation under the Pearl Fisheries

Act, which has now been repealed.

"At the request of the Queensland Government a complete

prohibition has been placed on the taking of triton shells,

giant clams and helmet shells from the continental shelf

adjacent to Queensland, including the Great Barrier Reef."

Mr. Anthony said these conservation measures applied

to all persons, whether taking the sedentary organisms

concerned for commercial or other purposes. They also

applied to foreigners.

"A misconception appears to have arisen in the minds

of the public as a result of an earlier statement I made

and which was interpreted by many newspapers as meaning that

foreigners or their boats do not need to be licensed under

the Act," he said.

"The Continental Shelf (Living Natural Resources) Act

requires foreigners to be licensed, but the Government has

decided that no licences will be issued to foreign boats or

their crews."

CANBERRA. 14th April, 1970.