NSW Government’s commitment to fisheries reform a welcome move
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW, the Australian Marine Conservation Society and WWF-Australia said the adoption of the recommendations of the Independent Report into NSW Commercial Fisheries Policy, Management and Administration signalled the beginning of fundamental reform of fisheries management in the state.
NCC CEO Pepe Clarke welcomed the announcement and reiterated calls for balanced and informed representation on the new Ministerial Fisheries Advisory Council.
“These reforms, if properly implemented, will help to make our commercial fisheries more economically and environmentally sustainable,” Mr Clarke said.
“It is important that new fisheries management arrangements are based on the best available science and a balanced range of stakeholder perspectives. To be successful, the proposed fisheries advisory council will need to include experts from the fishing industry and the conservation sector.”
AMCS fisheries spokesperson Tooni Mahto said the plans needed adequate funding.
“If we want fishing businesses to be both profitable and sustainable, we must make sure our marine environment remains healthy,” Ms Mahto said.
“The Government must back up today’s announcement with adequate funding. The report tells us that we don’t even know what the health is of stocks of half the species caught commercially in NSW. No commercial fisherman can have a secure future while there is this much uncertainty.
“Today’s announcement must be complemented by management reforms with greater efforts to collect the data needed to manage our fisheries. Better data can also help target reforms and retirement of certain sectors in economic trouble or those with a large ecological footprint such as shark fisheries.”
WWF’s marine spokesperson Jo-Anne McCrea said the Government’s move signalled the beginning of a far better ecological and economic footing for the NSW fishing industry.
“These reforms are desperately needed if we are to have a sustainable and profitable commercial industry into the future,” Ms McCrea said.
“It is vital that no short-cuts are taken in implementing these reforms and we look forward to further information from the Government on how improvements will be monitored.”
Pepe Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, NCC, 0402 325 471
Tooni Mahto, Marine Campaigner, AMCS, 0467 081 258
Daniel Rockett, Senior Media Officer, WWF-Australia, 0432 206 592