WAFIC Cites Relief Over Government’s Back Down of Lobster Proposal
John Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), has today stated ‘relief’ upon the State Government’s announcement to yield on the original proposed lobster reform.
“The original proposed unilateral decision shocked our fishers and sent a tremor through not just our industry, but primary industries across the world. We are pleased that the Government has today unveiled plans that will now create both positive outcomes for this great fishery and the Western Australian community,” he said.
In a press release sent to stakeholders earlier today, The Hon. Dave Kelly Minister for Fisheries, advised that the annual catch will be increased to 315 tonnes only, instead of the 1,385 tonnes initially advised.
“This decision comes off the back of multiple discussions and negotiations between the Government and the Western Rock Lobster Council (WRLC), Fishing Families WA, WAFIC and industry stakeholders.”
“It’s is a good outcome for the long-term approach to provide greater security for our industry’s fishing rights. Securing access rights to commercially fish is not only vital to our industry – but the environment and the local Western Australian community that rely upon our seafood industry.”
Mr Harrison said key components also addressed in the announcement, was the ongoing vision for a lobster festival, and the need for a multi-discipled working group.
“The festival is supported by the lobster industry, and we hope to see discussions surrounding the possible development of an international ‘seafood’ festival to include other WA fisheries, including lesser known. It is encouraging to see that an independently chaired working group will also be developed to discover opportunities to facilitate the growth of industry, including progressing aspirations of the indigenous community.”
Concluding Mr Harrison said that industry looks forward to being able to work with the State Government to ensure ease of access of WA seafood for the local community – including not only lobster, but other species of Western Australian seafood.
“The proposal, with final details to be released in March, will allow for the local community to be able to effortlessly access some of the best, most sustainable seafood in the world,” he concluded.
Media Contact: Danika Gusmeroli
Phone: 0434 963 179
Link to Hon Dave Kelly media release ‘Government and Industry Agree to Significantly Increase Local Lobster Supply’ –https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2019/02/Government-and-industry-agree-to-significantly-increase-local-lobster-supply.aspx