sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : NSW commercial fishing reforms 'death knell' for industry
NSW commercial fishing reforms 'death knell' for industry

'Batemans Bay - holiday haven and fishing town'    . ©    Click Here to view large photo

In a new blow to the commercial fishing industry, the New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson has proposed a raft of new reforms for the commercial fishing industry, citing the benefits for 'the long-term viability and sustainability of the State’s fisheries resources'.

Central to the changes are an initial fee increase from July 2013, moving towards fees based on resource access.

'A lack of investment, ageing commercial fishing fleets, too many fishers through poorly allocated fishing rights, and excessive red tape has stifled the industry,' Minister Hodgkinson said.

'With 85 per cent of seafood sold in NSW being imported, these new changes are needed to ensure that there is a continued availability of fresh, local seafood.'

Esmay Hropic, third generation prawn fisher in Batemans Bay sees the proposed reforms as the death knell for the local fishing industry.

'There are just under 1,000 commercial fishers in NSW, and the Minister is proposing cutting this by half in two years. Our fees going up 40% next year, then they will start charging us per share. The more shares you buy, the more nights you can fish.

'These are huge reforms that will impact on fishing families. It will drive people out of business.

'We are totally dumbstruck by this. This will be the end of the town and the whole south coast.

Esmay Hropic - professional prawner -  Jeni Bone   Click Here to view large photo

'The co-ops are on the brink, the ice works are close to going out of business, the diesel suppliers for the boats and the truck drivers won’t have work, and we will be importing 95% of our seafood.

'Once the fishers are gone, there won’t be seafood coming to the co-ops. The fishing licenses are going up 40%, which means it will cost them more to catch it and they will pass that price on to the public. People will then say ‘why will I pay $40 per kilo for local prawns when I can get imported stuff from Woolies and Coles for $15 a kilo’.

'People in small towns are struggling now without these so-called reforms. Fishermen are going to close up and say why bother? Those who do stay on, are risking their lives on the road driving 300km round trip to catch fish for their local community.'

This weekend, Esmay has arranged meetings with government officials – a Senator, local Member of Parliament and advocate for the fishing industry – who will travel from Canberra to Batemans Bay to discuss the issues and the prospects of getting back some fishing grounds.

'They want to raise fees, but we're still locked out. We have less water to fish. We want to work with them. We want to go to work, feed the community with fish and prawns that are fresh, local, clean and affordable.

'We are asking for a review of the zoning, to be granted a permit to conduct independent scientific trials to prove there is no reason it should be closed, to prove that our modern methods are workable, sustainable and of benefit to the community.'

Some, like former fisher, Matt Barber, see the reforms as the first step in a larger 'conspiracy'.

'The fish stocks are there, we just can't get to them. The attraction of little towns like Batemans Bay is for tourists to come and enjoy local seafood while they look at the water. Fishing underpins tourism. When they can't get that, and eventually, when there's no bait and tackle shop, no fuel, people will stop coming.'

Matt is already seeing this first hand. He is skipper on a Clyde River ferry that takes tourists 20km up the river and back again. They tell him they are planning to drive another two and a half hours south to Merimbula because they can fish there.

'I tell them they can fish in Batemans Bay, but only in certain places. But because there are 'invisible boundaries', nobody wants to risk it and get caught. There's that uncertainty. Nobody wants a $750 or $2000 fine.'

Matt's own fishing business went under a few years ago. On boats since he was 17, alongside his dad, also a commercial fisher, he bought his own trawler at 24 with help from his mum and her retirement payout.
During the drought years with back to back El Nino conditions, which impacted on prawn breeding, Matt managed to make a living with other fishing methods.

'Then the marine parks came and we couldn't operate. We can't just relocate. We have thousands of dollars invested in boats and equipment. Now they want to increase the fees. Even if I could afford another $100,000, it would be for no extra gain.'

Matt surmises that the government is aiming for 'five big operators', like the supertrawler.

'They've squeezed out all the smaller fishers and now they're going to price out those that are left. It will wipe out the industry and leave it open to the multinationals. We are selling ourselves out and if our forebears who fought and died for this country could see this, they'd be disgusted. Aussies have lost their rights to employment.'

More at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/commercial/reform


by Jeni Bone

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104224

2:01 AM Thu 29 Nov 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World













HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia














Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata by Richard Gladwell,Sail-world.com/nz,


Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
Melges 32 Sailing Series - Napoli action shots by Max Ranchi   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica launch new boat   
Emirates Team NZ: Royals duke it out on the Waitemata   
2014 Charleston Race Week - Thousands of sailors descend on Charleston   
The Congressional Cup 2014 - Williams hangs on with a classy crowd   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race now available   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Sunshine and smiles on day 2   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL WAS US