Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill

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    Further temporary restrictions on Kimberley fishing

    9/10/1992 12:00 AM
     
     
    Further temporary restrictions will be placed on commercial trap fishing in the Kimberley region.
     
    Fisheries Minister Gordon Hill said that as from October 1, only those boats with a history of operating in the fishery in both 1990 and 1991 would have continued access.
     
    "Successful boats must have fished for at least two months and taken at least one tonne of fish by trap in each of those calendar years," he said.
     
    Six boats would obtain interim licences under these criteria.
     
    The measure would remain in place until a full management plan had been drawn up in consultation with licence holders.
     
    The step was being taken to prevent over-fishing and conserve stocks for future generations.
     
    "I have been extremely concerned about the number of trap boats operating out of Broome and the risk of overfishing the limited resources there," Mr Hill said.
     
    "I have considered a number of options but in the end it is necessary to reduce the number of licence holders immediately."
     
    Mr Hill announced in February that further approvals for trap fishing in the Kimberley would not be issued and it was likely the number of existing licences would be reduced.
     
    "I am aware that some boats which have recently started trap fishing will not get access under these new arrangements," he said.
     
    "All these fishermen have been warned that the Government intends to introduce a full management plan.
     
    "There will be an appeal process for operators who think they should have interim access."
     
    Mr Hill said it was important for newcomers to the fishery to re-direct their activities now, rather than face the possibility of more losses in the future as management became tighter.
     
    Mr Hill said formal advice of the new arrangements would be sent to industry members soon.