East Coast net fishers invited to sell licences

Published Wednesday, 14 November, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Honourable John McVeigh

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh is inviting net fishers along the East Coast to consider an offer to buy back their licences.

Mr McVeigh said starting this week, commercial net fishers would receive invitations for the East Coast Commercial Net Fishing Reduction Scheme.

“The Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority, which is administering the scheme, will provide the terms of the offer and information about the scheme including how to submit an offer,” Mr McVeigh said.

“The first invitation for offers focuses on primary commercial fishing boat licences endorsed with N1 or N2 fishery symbols – these symbols authorise the use of commercial nets in Queensland’s East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery. 

“These licences are targeted to meet the Government’s election commitment to reduce the number of commercial net licences. We’ve committed $9 million to remove as many licences as possible.

Industry has asked for a 50 per cent reduction of net licences - we’ll work towards this target.

“We know what licences are currently trading for, so we’ll be able to ensure offers are assessed based on the current market value to make sure only reasonable offers are accepted.”

Mr McVeigh said the voluntary, competitive tender process would ensure the fairest and best outcome across the fishery, rather than targeting specific areas and individuals.

“The purpose of the buyback is to reduce the total net fishing effort along the Queensland East Coast, not drive fishers into smaller areas or put pressure on effort in other fisheries,” he said.

“To ensure there isn’t any transfer of fishing effort between fisheries, licence holders will be required to offer a Commercial Fishing Boat Licence with their N1 or N2 fishery symbol.

“The buyback will run from 26 November 2012 to 11 January 2013. QRAA will assess the offers and advise whether they have been accepted.

“I encourage all eligible licence holders to seriously consider this opportunity.”

For further information, visit www.qraa.qld.gov.au or call QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946.

[ENDS] 14 November 2012

Media: Louise Gillis – 0408 709 160