COMPLIANCE activity has been significantly boosted over the first 12 months of implementing Queensland’s Sustainable Fisheries Strategy, with the recruitment of 20 new patrol officers.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the first annual update on the Strategy showed good progress in a range of areas.
“The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy is the largest reform of the sector in our state’s history, and it will safeguard our vitally important fisheries for generations to come,” Mr Furner said. “Under the Strategy, we are delivering 33 actions across 10 reform areas with targets to be met by 2020 and 2027. To date, one-third of all the actions in the Strategy have already been delivered. All of the actions due to be delivered in the first year have been successfully completed.”
Minister Furner said there had been particularly good progress in boosting compliance, better engagement and rolling out new monitoring.
“We have new monitoring in place for reef species, scallop, juvenile snapper, blue swimmer crab and eastern king prawn, as well as guidelines now in place for ecological risk assessments,” he said. “Compliance resources have been boosted with 20 new officers, the reopening of the Gladstone Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol office, and the roll-out of vessel tracking on target for all net, crab and line boats by January 2019. While there has been a strong focus on better engagement, we will be undertaking further work to improve relationships between government, fishers and the community.”
“Over the next year, our focus will be on reviewing fishing rules, amending legislation and developing harvest strategies. The aim is to have an amended Act and new Regulations ready to commence by mid-2019.”
Mr Furner said the legislative changes will be guided by stakeholder feedback and the advice of the fishery working groups and Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel.
“This follows the release of a series of discussion papers in March 2018 about proposed amendments to the Act and options for reforming our trawl, crab and east coast inshore fisheries,” he said. “The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy delivers on a number of actions under the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan, further demonstrating our ongoing commitment to the Great Barrier Reef.”
For more information on the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy and to be part of managing Queensland’s fisheries, visit www.daf.qld.gov.au or call Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23.