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Sharks are big winners in Northern Prawn Fishery decision.

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AFFA01/4WT 18 January 2001


Federal Fisheries Minister Warren Truss welcomed the announcement today that AFMA (Australian Fisheries Management Authority) has endorsed an industry-led ban on the retention of all shark parts and products in the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF).

Mr Truss said the ban will complete the protection of sharks by requiring that all sharks which are caught are returned to the water.

"It's a commendable decision taken by the industry to ban the taking of any shark parts, including catch by-products such as fins, trunks, fillets, teeth and saw shark rostrums.

"The ban will come into effect on February 1 in time for the start of the NPF fishing season which starts on 1 April 2001," Mr Truss said.

"The industry is to be congratulated for its move to promote the sustainability of shark species to help preserve the marine environment and ecosystem of northern Australia.

"It is one of a series of tough decisions taken by the Fishery and AFMA to address environmental issues and ensure its future sustainability.

"This self-imposed shark ban recognises concerns about the sustainability of shark stocks and follows the introduction of turtle excluders and bycatch reduction devices to the NPF in April 2000.

"While these devices have helped exclude some larger sharks from the catch, operators in the Fishery wanted to take a more pro-active approach.

"Their decision to ban all shark bycatch demonstrates how an industry can take the lead in developing fishery practices that reflect responsible environmental management.

This industry-initiated ban builds on last year's announcement by Mr Truss to prohibit the finning of sharks at sea in tuna fisheries, a decision which has since been complemented by action in a number of States.

"The Government is also preparing a National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks and will continue to encourage partnerships between Government and all stakeholders with an interest in a sustainable fishing industry," Mr Truss said.


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Last updated 19 January 2001

URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2001