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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation
    The Honourable Andrew McNamara

    Future catch assured in Moreton Bay

    Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation
    The Honourable Andrew McNamara

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Future catch assured in Moreton Bay

    Fishers can expect a good catch after the Bligh Government today announced an increase in the buy-back numbers of commercial fishing licenses.

    Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation Minister, Andrew McNamara said the government would buy-back 119 fishing licenses under the Moreton Bay Structural Adjustment Package.

    “We initially estimated that 100 commercial fishers would participate in the buy-back scheme but the amount of interest far exceeded our expectations,” Mr McNamara said.

    “Buying back more licenses retains a viable commercial fishing industry in Moreton Bay and negates the impact that new zoning in the marine park would have on commercial fishers.

    "The gross value of product from the Marine Park is $24 million per annum and the buy out represents $6.2 million, or about a quarter of the gross value of commercial take in the bay.

    “It’s a win, win situation for everyone – the marine park and commercial and recreational fishers,” he said.

    Applications for the buy-back were assessed by a technical working group of experts from the commercial fishing industry, the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Treasury, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and overseen by an independent facilitator with extensive experience in Queensland fisheries management.

    Mr McNamara said commercial fishers have been notified of the decisions on the Moreton Bay Structural Adjustment package by mail.

    “Fishers who receive a buy-back offer will be paid their tendered amount,” he said.

    The Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority will be providing detailed instructions to successful applicants in their letters on how to surrender their licence and receive their payments.

    The Bligh government announced a significant expansion of the “green zones” in the Moreton Bay Marine Park last year.

    Sixteen per cent of the Marine Park, which stretches 125km from Caloundra to the Gold Coast Seaway, will be protected by green zones, up from the current half a per cent.

    The expansion, backed by a $21 million investment, will come into force on March 1, 2009.


    Media contact: Bill Ferguson 333 68004 or Mobile 0439 761 416