Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    State Government progresses increased tenure for Abrolhos fishers

    21/02/2005 8:51 PM

    The State Government has progressed moves to secure the tenure of rock lobster fishers occupying camps on the Abrolhos Islands.

    Fisheries Minister Kim Chance has provided industry representatives with a proposed lease for fishers occupying North Island as a model for the Wallabi, Easter and Southern Groups.

    “Fishers now have the opportunity to comment on the document prior to the finalisation of lease arrangements which will give them greater security of tenure and benefit the continuing sustainable management of the islands’ environment,” Mr Chance said.

    “By resolving these issues, Government and industry are working together to ensure ongoing sustainability of the marine environment and protection of the island reserve.

    “The lease arrangements will provide increased security for fishing families, something that I have sought to resolve in our first term of government.”

    The Minister said the lease would also formalise key environmental issues including building and hygiene and infrastructure standards.

    The proposed arrangements include each A Zone rock lobster licence-holder contributing a $1,000 a year lease fee, with the Government expecting to raise $135,000 annually towards ongoing management costs.

    Fishers have formed four bodies corporate, one for each island group and the leases are being made with these bodies rather than 140 individual fishers.

    During the Abrolhos fishing season from March 15 to June 30 each year, about 150 fishers are licensed to fish the Abrolhos waters. Most take up residence with their crews and family members on the 22 islands designated for fishers' camps.

    Minister's office: 9213 6700