IN June 2017, the Queensland Government released the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027, paving the way for Queensland to have a world-class fisheries management system.
These reforms will ensure healthy fish stocks that will support thousands of Queensland jobs. One year on from the release of Queensland’s Sustainable Fisheries Strategy and there has been very positive progress towards implementing the action items.
It is important that progress is measured and tracked to meet the targets for 2020 and 2027. The recently released progress report sets baselines and helps ensure identified outcomes are achieved. It also includes a summary of key achievements over the past year, highlights challenges and presents the focus for the next 12 months.
Notably, while the strategy covers a 10-year period, 11 of the 33 action items have already been delivered and all items are on track.
- Other achievements include:
- The employment of 20 new compliance officers and the reopening of the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol office in Gladstone.
- The establishment of new fishery working groups and expert panel.
- The roll-out of new biological monitoring.
- Discussion papers outlining management reform options for specific fisheries and proposed Act amendments – released in March 2018 for public consultation.
- The release of a discussion paper on amendments to the Fisheries Act 1994. Proposed reforms to modernise Queensland’s fisheries laws include stronger compliance powers and penalties for serious offences such as seafood black-marketing. There was overwhelming positive support for these changes. A Bill is expected to be introduced to parliament later this year.
- The strategy commits to having vessel-tracking units installed on all commercial boats by 2020, with a priority to install them on net, line and crab boats by the end of 2018. The final policy and guidelines were released following feedback on drafts earlier in the year. Details of the rebate scheme to assist industry with costs will be available soon.
To learn more about the progress of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy, download the progress report online at fisheries.qld.gov.au or visit the Fisheries Queensland stand at the Brisbane Boat Show from August 24-26, 2018.
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