Catch quota scheme for spanner crabs to be implemented

BALLINA MP Don Page has welcomed changes to the northern zone spanner crab sector, which will see quotas allocated to fishers based on their shareholdings.

The new management arrangement for the spanner crab fishery in the State's northern zone, from Yamba to Tweed Heads, will commence from July 1, Mr Page said.

"Discussions with the spanner crab industry have taken place over many years with industry requesting the move to quota allocation," Mr Page said.

"Following recent consultation with key stakeholders, the NSW Government will implement important changes in line with advice from the independent Structural Adjustment Review Committee (SARC)."

From July 1, a catch quota scheme will be implemented and an interim total commercial catch limit of 164,124 kilograms will be set for the spanner crab fishery in the northern zone.

"These changes will provide a stronger property right and security of access for shareholders," Mr Page said.

"During the consultation process, fishers in our region indicated that the preferred option was to implement a catch quota system which has since been endorsed by the SARC."

Mr Page said the interim total commercial catch limit will be converted to a scientifically based Total Allowable Catch (TAC) commencing July 1, 2017.

The SARC also recommended that spanner crab fishers in the northern zone be included in the foreshadowed exit grant program.

The NSW Liberals & National Government is in the process of rolling out a $16 million structural adjustment package to promote the long-term viability and sustainability of the commercial fishing industry in this and other regions.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries will write to the relevant shareholders shortly with details about implementation of the quota.



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