The future of the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) will be better assured through controls that limit fishing effort and maximise the supply to the Australian community, a report on the management of the fisheries has found.
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Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Michael Egan said the new management arrangements would include catch rates for key species and mechanisms to adjust total annual effort levels to ensure the fishery remains sustainable and profitable.
Mr Egan said the initiative put an end to years of speculation about how Australia’s biggest prawn fishery should be managed and gave industry the certainty it needed to get on with business.
“The decision was based on the outcomes of rigorous scientific and economic analysis and a detailed risk assessment of different management options,” Mr Egan said.
He said AFMA had been investigating the costs, benefits and risks of managing the NPF under alternative management arrangements since 2007. This investigation followed approximately $68 million of Government assistance provided to the industry to help it restructure in late 2006 to become more profitable.
The Chief Executive of NPF Industry Pty Ltd, Annie Jarrett said the AFMA and the industry were making sure the fishing industry and the community could maximise economic returns.
She said the new arrangements reinforced work the fishing industry had done to ensure that it maintained high environmental standards.
“The Northern Prawn Fishery is the first tropical prawn fishery in Australia, and the second in the world, to receive Marine Stewardship Council certification,” Ms Jarrett said.
Edition 386, 5 November 2013