An assistance package in the vicinity of $100 million will begin to flow to the fishing industry before the marine reserves are activated.
The Gillard Government today announced the final network of reserves after a year of consultation with marine and tourism businesses, environmental groups and the community.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the Government will build a tailored assistance package with the fishing industry. This will be aimed at providing adjustment assistance to those directly impacted.
The package will be designed to meet case-by-case needs of these fishers and businesses, and the Government will work with industry to develop measures such as:
• Transitional business assistance to support changes to fishing business operations
• Assistance for employees including payments
• Investment in research and monitoring
• Removal of commercial fishing effort from impacted fisheries through possible purchase of entitlements
• Targeted assistance to vertically integrated fishing businesses
'Those impacted who want to change where they fish, how they fish, and what they fish, will be helped to do so. Those who can change their business model, or who opt to leave the industry, will get the assistance they require,' Minister Ludwig said.
'There will be specialised assistance on a case by case basis for vertically integrated businesses that are especially impacted.
'Importantly as a Labor Government we will make sure impacted workers receive the help they need.'
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke MP, said that throughout the process the Government worked to maximise conservation results and minimise impact on fishing of all kinds.
'Government and industry will work together to establish an assistance package. I want to make it clear that reserves will not come into effect until industry assistance is in place and flowing,' Minister Burke said.
'Reserves had been designed to minimise the impacts wherever possible. The reserves are estimated to displace approximately 1-2% of the annual value of wild catch fisheries production in Australia.'
Further information is available at www.environment.gov.au/marinereserves