The start of a full-quota system for the West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery was launched today in conjunction with the official opening of refurbished, purpose-built Department of Fisheries (DoF) offices in Geraldton.
Fisheries Minister Norman Moore was in Geraldton today to officially launch the West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan to mark the start of the 2013-14 commercial rock lobster season and open the $1.1million refurbished DoF facility.
Mr Moore said the new management plan had been developed to support the industry and included several new measures to manage the sustainability of the State’s rock lobster fishery.
“This is quite an historic day as it is the first time the season has been open all year round,” he said.
“Today’s opening of the 2013-14 Western Rock Lobster season represents the third season Western Australia’s biggest and most valuable commercial fishery has been managed under Quota Management arrangements, which has been a key reform initiative of the Liberal National Government.
“The new management plan brings in measures to further improve flexibility, enable effective business decisions and improved economic returns, with less bureaucracy. For example, there will be no constraints on pulling times, allowing fishers to work more convenient hours and to take into account weather and sea conditions.
“This is the first time this opportunity has been available to industry, enabling fishers and factories to decide on arrangements that are most suitable to them, and the domestic and international markets that they service.”
The Minister said that since the Quota Management System changes commenced two years ago, average unit values and prices per kilogram have increased.
Acknowledging the importance of the Mid-West region’s fisheries to the State, Mr Moore officially opened the $1.1million purpose-built DoF facility.
“This building, originally built in 1968, has been set-up to provide appropriate security and customer access, while confidential department and client compliance information will be located in a secure space where there is no public access,” he said.
“These latest renovations are part of a strategy to modernise the Department of Fisheries, with a range of new initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to improving the management and administration of fisheries across the State.”
Liberal National Government invested $8.5m on shared facilities to improve management of important WA fishing and tourist area at Denham
Government has invested $9.4m to reduce environmental risks of aquatic pests
WA Government has allocated $2.4m across four years for artificial reef projects and research to support more sustainable fisheries
Minister’s office - 6552 5400