WWF-Australia is calling for bipartisan support for the reform of how Queensland’s fisheries are managed after a surprise announcement that Queensland’s saucer scallop stocks have crashed to just 6% of the original level.
“How low do we have to go before we turn this around?” said WWF spokesperson Jim Higgs.
“This is sad news. Sad for the scallops, sad for the environment and sad for the fishing industry that relies on healthy stocks to maintain a profitable fishing business.
“While industry has been concerned about declining catch rates over recent years, the shock announcement today highlights exactly why the reforms contained in the Queensland Government’s fisheries management Green Paper, based on an earlier independent review commissioned by the previous LNP government, must go ahead and be appropriately funded.
“Most fisheries in Queensland are managed on a statewide basis with limited capacity to restrict fishing pressure on individual stocks which vary in response to environmental conditions and fishing effort.”
WWF has been calling for changes in how Queensland manages its fisheries for over a decade.
Key changes that would have prevented this devastating stock level include:
· separating the trawl fishery into smaller fisheries based on populations of target species;
· reducing the overall number of operators in the fishery;
· increasing the available science; and
· establishing clear management goals that are regularly assessed with agreed management responses, known to all stakeholders, that are applied as fish populations vary.
WWF-Australia Media Contact: Daniel Rockett, Senior Manager News and Public Affairs, 0432 206 592