Commercial Industry Lead the Way in the Peel Harvey
A limited number of commercial fishing licenses in the Peel Harvey Estuary will be bought back as part of the McGowan Government’s election promise to maintain stocks for seafood consumers and the recreational community.
John Harrison, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), has praised industry for their prominent role in leading The West Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery Voluntary Fisheries Adjustment Scheme process, that was formally gazetted on October 12.
“We would like to acknowledge the commercial fishers in this scenario – significant stakeholders not only in the future of the Peel fishery but in maintaining consumer access to fresh, local, sustainable seafood.”
“It is important to remember that while blue swimmer crabs and yellow fin whiting are highly prized recreational species, they are a shared resource, and much loved by Western Australian seafood consumers who rely on the commercial fishing industry to supply these popular seafood species.”
“From a commercial perspective, catches are precisely reported and strictly managed through a harvest strategy ensuring ongoing sustainability can be achieved.”
“We look forward to a more accurate estimate of recreational catch to fully inform the harvest-strategy process in to the future – which will further ensure the long-term sustainability of stock.”
Mr Harrison said that the announcement acts as a reminder of the achievement of WA’s commercial and recreational fishing sectors, who in a world-first, collaborated to ensure the protection the Peel-Harvey Estuarine fishery’s seafood stocks.
“Through a third-party certification process, over an 18-month period in 2016, the Peel-Harvey Estuarine fishery underwent a full Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment.”
“The MSC eco-tick gives customers certainty, that the fishery is managed to the world’s best practice to ensure the environment and the long-term sustainability of stocks.”
Mr Harrison concluded by saying it was positive to see an appropriate remuneration package created by government and the recreational industry for the commercial industry. And with the new arrangement to be locked in for the next decade, this level of certainty will provide a platform for the commercial sector to invest in this fishery.
“Both the government and recreational sector have contributed to ensuring that the limited number of fishers in that estuary receive sufficient funding for their licences via state subsidy and from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.”
“Under the proposal, commercial fishers will receive a portion of $1.5 million allocated to the scheme.”
“It is positive to see the commercial and recreational industry working together for the benefit of all,” he said.
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