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Marine Scalefish Fishery Reform

The State Government has announced a $24.5 million reform package for the state's commercial fishing industry, expressing its intent to take the South Australian Marine Scalefish Fishery into a sustainable and viable future.

The State Government says "the reform package, has been informed through extensive consultation with industry, delivers on the Government’s election commitment to support the reform of the fishery. It will improve the sustainability of South Australia’s fish stocks and the viability of seafood businesses reliant on the fishery."

The $24.5 million reform package – which is said to be fully implemented by 1 July 2021 – includes:

  • Introduction of four regional fisheries management zones – West Coast, Spencer Gulf, Gulf St Vincent/Kangaroo Island and South East.

  • Introducing a total allowable commercial catch for priority species such as King George whiting, snapper, southern calamari and southern garfish.

  • Allocate quota to fishers, which will be transferable, to manage commercial catch limits.

  • Cap fee increases for the fishery to CPI for four years.

  • A voluntary buyback of up to 150 commercial longline, line and net fishing licences, commencing Monday, 25 May 2020.

  • Cut fishing red tape by at least a third.

As part of the reform co-mangement principles will be implemented.

As with other South Australian quota managed fisheries (rock lobster, abalone, blue swimmer crabs) the level of total allowable catches for priority species will be determined on an annual basis by a co-management committee which will be informed by SARDI scientific assessments and inputs from industry.

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