28 March 2012
The Gillard Government has this month begun a review of two Commonwealth fisheries policies central to the sustainability of Australia’s fisheries.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said that Australia has some of the best managed fisheries in the world.
“You don’t become world class, or stay world class, without making sure that you have the best settings and the best policies for industry,” Minister Ludwig said.
“That’s why the Gillard Government has initiated reviews of the ‘Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and Guidelines (2007)’ and the ’Commonwealth Policy on Fisheries Bycatch (2000)’.
“The harvest strategy policy underpins the management of target stocks in Commonwealth fisheries; it sets the framework and ground rules for how our fisheries are managed. Reviewing this strategy ensures that the playing field for our management decisions is the right one.
“The harvest strategy policy guides key management decisions and their implementation – ensuring they are transparent and based on the best available science and economics.
“These decisions have a significant influence on the day–to–day business of fishers. Keeping this strategy relevant and fresh is just common sense.”
The government has also launched a review of the Commonwealth bycatch policy for the first time since its introduction in 2000.
“This review is ten years in the making and fisheries have changed a lot in that time. There has been progress in addressing bycatch in Commonwealth fisheries but this issue is a constant challenge for fishers,” Minister Ludwig said.
“Fishers and consumers want to be confident that bycatch is managed carefully, both for the environment and the long–term viability of our fisheries. It’s a complex issue and this review will mean we can build on what we’ve learnt and get the plan right for management into the future.
“I want to see more Aussie fish on Aussie plates – you can’t have that without the confidence and support of the public. Well managed, sustainable fisheries are the way to get and keep that confidence.”
Reviewing the two policies simultaneously will mean better integration and support for operators in meeting existing environmental and fisheries legislative requirements. The reviews are scheduled to be completed in early 2013.