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Liberals to reform key fisheries

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will reform South Australia’s Marine Scale Fish industry to unlock the industry’s potential and provide long term sustainability.

Marine scale fisheries operate in all South Australian coastal waters with over 60 species fished commercially, including King George Whiting, Southern Garfish, Snapper and Southern Calamari.

“There is broad consensus across the commercial and recreational sectors that the Marine Scale Fish industry needs reform,” said Shadow Minister for Primary Industries David Ridgway.

“Currently there are not individual quotas in place for the 300 marine scale licence holders which means they can catch an unlimited amount of King George Whiting, Garfish, Snapper and Southern Calamari within the overall sector allocation.

“The peak industry body, the Marine Fishers Association (MFA), have recognised that the current structure and management framework needs to be reformed for the long term benefit of the industry.

“By moving to a quota system we will be able to provide greater certainty for industry and secure the long term sustainable future of these fisheries.

“In recent years we’ve seen repeated cuts to bag limits for some of the most popular fish species in South Australian waters and reforming this sector will be welcome news for the state’s 277,000 recreational fishers.

“These reforms will help prevent stock depletion of key fisheries such as King George Whiting, Garfish and Snapper which will make all of these fisheries more sustainable for both the recreational and commercial fishers.

“South Australia’s seafood sector contributes $900 million to our economy each year which we can continue to grow with key reforms.

“These fisheries form part of South Australia’s cultural and social fabric supporting South Australia’s a quarter of a million strong recreational fishing sector.

“That’s why we need the right framework in place to preserve our fish stocks for future generations and ensure there are plenty of King George Whiting, Garfish and Snapper for all fishers.”