Historic lease agreements for the Abrolhos Islands have been signed today, giving rock lobster fishers security of tenure for their sustainable commercial operations.
Fisheries Minister Jon Ford was in Geraldton today to sign agreements with the presidents of the four newly established bodies corporate that cover North Island, Wallabi’s Group, Easter Group and Southern Group.
“The leases give these bodies corporate a 21-year lease, with an option of a further 21 years,” Mr Ford said.
“This new arrangement will also allow for a higher degree of self-management.”
The Minister said there had been extensive consultation with rock lobster fishers to reach agreement on the new leases and the arrangements would be reviewed in two years to finetune the leases if necessary.
Geraldton MLA Shane Hill said the new leases were important in demonstrating commitment to the industry.
“It also provides recognition of the role the islands have played in providing viable businesses for the rock lobster fishers who are based there for part of each year,” Mr Hill said.
A bodies corporate president will represent each of the four Abrolhos Islands’ groups. Their functions will be controlled through the adoption of bodies corporate constitutions.
It is envisaged that their representatives will work closely with the Abrolhos Islands Management Advisory Committee and the Department of Fisheries in developing relevant management policies for the Abrolhos Islands estate.
Minister's office - 9213 7200