A Brave New World for WA’s Southern Fisheries

A new chapter in the state’s fishing history was written in the regional fishing centre of Albany yesterday as industry leaders endorsed recommendations provided by Dr Peter Rogers in his landmark report tabled at the meeting.  Entitled, The Case for Establishing the Southern Seafood Producers (WA) Association, Dr Roger’s report outlines key issues and challenges facing the state’s southern sector, and provides a roadmap of options to reform and revitalise the twenty plus fisheries between Perth and the South Australian border.

WA Fishing Industry Council Chair Clayton Nelson applauded industry leaders in attendance for their vision, persistence in identifying the need for a new representative sector body, and the hard work dedicated to the formation of a new association to be incorporated later this year.

“Today marks a milestone turning point for industry, and the formation of a critical partnership between WAFIC and our newest sector body, the Southern Seafood Producers (WA) Association.”

“It’s time for industry to show leadership through the lens of its ‘forward looking’ glasses, putting past challenges aside, and to create and realise the opportunities which lie in its future,” said Nelson in his closing remarks.

Industry stalwarts Alan Miles from Dunsborough and Tony Westerberg of Albany led the call for WAFIC to enable a method for direct representation and advocacy of the southern fisheries sector, and had warm praise for Dr Rogers and Independent Consultation Unit leader Angus Callander, who consolidated the individual views of over 150 fishers from Perth to Esperance, breathing life into the new Association.

At yesterday’s meeting, the group of industry leaders and WAFIC resolved in principle support for the recommendations provided in Dr Roger’s report. The leaders also ratified a draft constitution for the new SSPWA Association, adopted a secondary funding agreement with WAFIC and appointed a transitional management committee to guide the formation of the Association to its first AGM to be held in the last quarter of 2017.

WAFIC CEO John Harrison celebrated the successful conclusion of the day long meetings, saying that all the expectations expressed at the morning session were achieved.

“This meeting paves the way for development of new relationships between industry, the peak body, government and other key stakeholders in our southern fisheries.

“We will watch with great interest as this newest fishery association finds its feet,” said Harrison.

The transitional committee is comprised of David Grey and Manue Daniels from the Esperance region, Tony Westerberg and Dumpy Wheatcroft from Albany, Alan Miles and Nick Solous from the Southwest, and Peter Rickerby, and Doug Gibson represent the metro region.  This team will work closely with Dr Rogers and WAFIC liaison Alex Ogg to incorporate the association, co-ordinate the drive for members, elect the inaugural committee and recruit an executive officer in the coming months.

Photo: Industry leaders endorsing recommendations provided by Dr Peter Rogers in his landmark report.

Photo: Industry leaders endorsing recommendations provided by Dr Peter Rogers in his landmark report.

From left to right: Alex Ogg, Alan Miles (Dunsborough), Corrina Ridgway (Esperance), Tony Westerberg (Albany), Manue Daniels (Esperance), Nick Solous (Bunbury), Peter Rickerby (Perth), Guy Leyland, Dumpy Wheatcroft (Albany), Doug Gibson (Perth), Glen Bosman (Perth), Brendon Johnston (Windy Harbour), Anthony Haygarth (Donnybrook), Peter Rogers, Clayton Nelson (WAFIC Chair), John Harrison (WAFIC CEO), Angus Callander.

WAFIC Members: Tony Westerberg, Doug Gibson, Glen Bosman, Anthony Hogarth

Past & Present WAFIC Board Members: Alan Miles, Dumpy Wheatcroft, Doug Gibson, Clayton Nelson (WAFIC Chair) & Angus Callander

Peter Rogers – Executive Director Fisheries 1991-2006