- Progress on election commitment to ensure the future health of the Peel-Harvey Estuary and improve recreational fishing experience
- $1.5 million has been allocated to buyback commercial fishing licences
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has today announced the establishment of a new buyback scheme for commercial fishing licences in the Peel-Harvey Estuary, as part of an election commitment.
The West Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery Voluntary Fisheries Adjustment Scheme will be formally gazetted tomorrow (October 12). After it opens, commercial fishers who wish to apply will have until April 30, 2019 to submit their offers.
Mandurah's waterways host the most popular recreational crab fishery in Western Australia, which is also fished by a limited number of licensed Peel-Harvey commercial fishers. The fishery is also the first joint recreational and commercial fishery to be accredited with a Marine Stewardship Council eco-tick.
In June this year, a Committee of Management was established to consider the desirability of a buyback scheme for the fishery. The committee endorsed the views of Recfishwest and the WA Fishing Industry Council to establish a voluntary fisheries adjustment scheme that will help facilitate a resource reallocation from the commercial to the recreational sector.
The commercial fishing licence buyback scheme will enable a greater recreational allocation of blue swimmer crabs and yellowfin whiting in the popular waterways around Mandurah.
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
"I am proud to be delivering another election commitment from the McGowan Government to improve recreational fishing experiences in WA.
"The Peel-Harvey Estuary has been a source of conflict between the recreational and commercial sectors over access to blue swimmer crabs and yellowfin whiting catches. This scheme is aimed at removing conflict.
"We have allocated $1.5 million to the commercial fishing licence buyback scheme, with a component of the funding coming from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
"The scheme is designed to make more crabs available to recreational fishers, while still providing a supply of commercially caught crabs to the local market."
Comments attributed to Mandurah MLA David Templeman:
"This is another great initiative delivered by the McGowan Government. Maintaining our stocks of Mandurah crabs for recreational fishers is very important.
"This election commitment will ensure recreational fishers will have access to sustainable crab stock, while the commercial catch is still available to provide for businesses, restaurants and the local market."
Minister's office - 6552 6100