Once again the net fishery in Queensland and its resource access is under threat by the Australian Greens. I am seeking your help to maintain current arrangements as they relate to the Hammerhead Shark fishery in Queensland.
The situation is as follows – ‘Senator Whish-Wilson (Australian Greens) wants to disallow the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) Regulation amendment, which allows the continued take of the Hammerhead Shark in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. If successful, this would make Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks a no-take species in the Great Barrier Reef immediately. This is inconsistent with the management of the species in any other part of Australia, including other parts of Queensland’.
How can you help?
It is critical that commercial fishers and businesses contact Australian Crossbench Senators to outline your support for the continued operation of the Hammerhead Shark fishery.
You can also contact our State Senators to outline your support for our commercial fishers.
The association has contacted Senator Colbeck and Senate Crossbench Senators and will continue to contact Senators with the following email:
Dear Senator Colbeck,
Senator Whish-Wilson has moved a motion that will see the final nail driven into the coffin for Queensland net-fishers. A motion you will be called to vote on this coming Monday, September 10.
Senator Whish-Wilson wants to disallow the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) Regulation amendment, which allows the continued take of the Hammerhead Shark in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. If successful, this would make Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks a no-take species in the Great Barrier Reef immediately. This is inconsistent with the management of the species in any other part of Australia, including other parts of Queensland.
Australian fisheries management arrangements are some of the toughest in the world. In January this year, fisheries management controls in Queensland for the Hammerhead Sharks were strengthened to help prevent them being listed as an endangered species in the future. This included a total allowable catch for Queensland of 150 tonnes per year, coupled with better monitoring and reporting. Of this, 78 tonne is allocated to the GBRMP.
Based on these changes, the Federal Government listed Scalloped Hammerhead as conservation dependent. A number of Australia’s iconic species have this listing including: the Southern Bluefin tuna, School Shark and the Blue Warehou. A conservation dependent listing allows for the continued harvest of a species under strict quota lists and under active management techniques to ensure its conservation. The support from the Queensland government has ensured the long-term sustainability of Hammerhead Shark in the GBRMP waters and also ensured the long-term viability of the Queensland net-fishery.
Queensland’s total allowable catch (TAC) of 150 tonnes per year is based on the Commonwealth’s scientific assessment that the sustainable harvest of Hammerhead across Australia is 370 tonnes per year. It is worth noting that the Hammerhead Shark catch in Queensland is around 1-3 per cent of the global harvest.
The commercial fishing industry has already, and very recently, worked with both the State and Federal Governments to ensure there are appropriate measures are in place for this species and this was supported by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee. Attached you can find statements from the Queensland Government and extracts from the Fisheries Minister on these improved measures.
The Greens and conservation groups should take their long-held concerns and loud voice to debate the fisheries management efforts of foreign nations rather than continually attacking Australia’s sustainable, well-managed commercial fisheries. Australia’s fishers suffer from mental health problems at twice the rate of Australia’s base population, with a large number of these problems stemming from these ongoing attacks and continued threats to their resource access.
Senator, I ask you to please vote against Senator Whish-Wilson’s motion and secure the livelihood of Queensland’s net-fishers.
Should you wish to discuss this matter further please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0417 631 353.
The association will continue to engage with Senators on behalf of Queensland commercial fishers to ensure Senator Whish-Wilson’s motion to disallow is defeated in the Senate.
Author: Eric Perez, CEO – Queensland Seafood Industry Association
Note: On behalf of the association I would like to thank Jessica McInerney, Media and Communications Manager, Seafood Industry Australia for her assistance in helping to engage industry and Senators.
Image: N.Rynn Queensland commercial net fisher.
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