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Toothfish fishing rights granted for Macquarie Island.

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Toothfish Fishing Rights granted for Macquarie Island

18 January 2007

Statutory Fishing Rights (SFRs) have been granted for the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery in the remote sub-Antarctic, following allocation of half the SFRs through a competitive tender process.

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s Managing Director, Mr Richard McLoughlin, said that this is the first time that a competitive tender has taken place for granting SFRs in any Australian fishery.

“Statutory Fishing Rights give fishers greater security than annually renewable permits by providing an access right for the life of the management plan for the fishery,” Mr McLoughlin said.

“This granting of SFRs is part of the allocation process under the new management plan for this fishery which came into effect on 9 February 2006.”

The SFRs have now been granted to two companies and will come into force on 1 July 2007. “Austral Fisheries, as a pioneer of toothfish fishing operations in this region, received half of the available SFRs. The remaining 50% of SFRs were available through the tender process and have been secured by Austral Fisheries and Petuna Sealord. Both companies operate vessels in Australia’s other sub-Antarctic Fishery around Heard Island and McDonald Islands,” Mr McLoughlin said.

The Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery, which is located approximately 1,500 kilometres south-east of Hobart, is managed in a compatible manner to the fishery around Heard Island and McDonald Islands.

“The Management Plan for the Macquarie Island Toothfish Fishery adopts stringent fishery management measures, including setting sustainable catch levels and the use of strict environmental protection measures,” said Mr McLoughlin.

“In addition, operators are required to carry two independent observers to monitor fishing operations and collect data on target and non-target species.”

The total allowable catch for the 2006/2007 season is set at 341 tonnes across the two sectors of the Fishery.

Statement ends/18 January 2007 Contact: Tamsin Allen, Communications, Telephone: (02) 6225 5411, Mobile: 0410 156 720

Page last updated 19 January, 2007