South Australia’s Blue Crab and Rock Lobster fishers are charting a more sustainable future for their industries in new commercial fishing management plans coming into effect from July 2020.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the two revised plans will see fishers make short term sacrifices to allow crab and lobster populations to grow for the long-term benefit of all fishers, seafood consumers and the environment.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to growing South Australia’s seafood industry and ensuring we have sustainable fish stocks for future generations,” said Minister Whetstone.
“There has been strong growth in Blue Crab and Southern Rock Lobster populations as a result of our fishers’ sustainable practices.
“These new management plans provide innovative strategies to balance increased commercial opportunity alongside greater access to recreational fishers and leaving more in the water for the benefit of the environment.
“Under the Blue Crab plan recreational only fishing ‘bubbles’ will be established around key regional ports from 1 December to Easter Monday and commercial fishers will no longer have to seek departmental exemptions to fish the gulfs in summer.
“To help Blue Crab numbers grow even further, fishers have agreed to harvest rules which will see them catch 62 tonnes less fish in the 2020-21 year as a shrewd investment in the long-term sustainability of the species in our coastal waters.
Minister Whetstone said Southern Zone Rock Lobster fishers have been leaders in sustainable fishing and have now decided total commercial catches will not increase two years in a row, no matter how much populations of this sought-after crustacean improve.
“These new management plans support sustainable growth of our $7.8 million commercial Blue Crab fishery and $98.2 million southern zone rock lobster fishery while protecting fish stocks for the benefit of all in the community,” said Minister Whetstone.
“South Australia is recognised worldwide for its robust and comprehensive seafood management driven by a partnership between fishers and government focused on growing ecologically sustainable industries.”