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Business made easier for shark fishers.



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Business made easier for shark fishers

17 May 2006

Today, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has announced a decision that will allow over 100 shark fishers greater freedom in managing their quota and their businesses.

The decision gives shark fishers in the Commonwealth Southern and Eastern Shark and Scalefish Fishery the ability to buy and sell variable amounts of their quota rather than the whole package they own.

This will take effect from 1 June 2006, and has been made possible because of the resolution of legal challenges to the formula used to allocate school and gummy shark quota.

AFMA’s Managing Director, Richard McLoughlin, said AFMA is pleased the existing allocation formula appeals are over and we can get on with the job of managing the fishery.

“The allocation of school and gummy shark quota has been subject to continued litigation since it was introduced in 2001. As a result, shark fishers were required to buy and sell their whole quota holding. This meant businesses with large quota holdings were finding it difficult to find buyers.

“With operators now able to buy and sell variable amounts of shark quota freely, they will be able to finally enjoy the full benefits of quota management.

“Under the fishery’s management plan, AFMA grants statutory fishing rights to operators. These rights provide operators the equivalent of a ‘share’ in the fishery. Following today’s announcement, we expect a decision to commence the process of granting statutory fishing rights later this year.

“AFMA, and the majority of fishers, are keen to get on with the job of ensuring a secure and sustainable future for fishers and the fishery, “ he said.

The environmentally sustainable fishery targets Gummy shark with a total allowable catch of 1,800 tonnes in 2006. The fishery is worth more than $15 million with the majority of Gummy shark being sold in Victoria as Flake.

Statement ends/ 17 May 2006 Contact: Clare Hogan, AFMA Communications (02) 6272 4511 (W) or 0403 068 013 (M)

Page last updated 19 May, 2006

AUSTRALIAN FISHERIES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY