Property right protection
Australia’s South East Trawl and Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA) is calling on the Federal Minister for Fisheries to protect the Commonwealth industry’s property rights and sustainable of fish stocks.
This comes after the New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Primary Industries, Honourable Katrina Hodgkinson removed commercial catch limits for many species in NSW, including flathead, on 21 May 2013.
This meant that state licensed vessel were able to take unlimited amounts of flathead, while the same fish are regulated and catch limits imposed on NSW recreational anglers along the coast, and that limits remained on Commonwealth commercial fishers in waters outside 3 miles off the NSW coastline.
Simon Boag, CEO, SETFIA, said: “By allowing uncontrolled catches of flathead by State vessels, NSW has significantly reduced the value of this quota, and put at risk the sustainability of the fishery at the same time.”
SETFIA spoke out against the restrictions stating that “Australian fisheries have been the best managed in the world but doing this jeopardises their sustainability in NSW particularly” and that “NSW officials may have misled Commonwealth officials”.
Less than 24 hours later, the commercial catch limits were reinstated.
SETFIA says protecting State and Commonwealth fishermen’s property rights by establishing a resource sharing arrangement is the best protection for resource.
“Strong property rights promote environmental stewardship. Commonwealth quota owners are motivated to look after flathead because they rely on it for a living, and want to ensure the value of their quota remains strong, by having a lasting, sustainable, healthy fishery,” Mr Boag added.
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