Net buyback opened up to more fishers

Published Tuesday, 08 October, 2013 at 09:28 AM

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Honourable John McVeigh

More fishers will now be eligible to have their East Coast commercial net fishing licences and or symbols bought back under new criteria.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the Newman Government had agreed to expand the eligibility criteria for the next phase of its $9 million East Coast net fishery buyback scheme.

“Following the success of the first two rounds of the buyback, we are keen to offer more commercial fishers the opportunity to take advantage of the scheme,” Mr McVeigh said.

“The stakeholder working group carefully considered the feedback from interested fishers to develop the new criteria.

“The major change in the new scheme is the targeting of East Coast net fishery symbols rather than primary licences.”

A licence grants authority to fish, while symbols on the licence define the fisheries in which the licence can be used and the type of fishing that can be done. For example, an N2 symbol allows the use of large gill nets to target barramundi, while an N10 symbol allows the use of tunnel nets in certain locations.

“By expanding the eligibility criteria to allow surrender of not just N1 and N2 symbols but also K, N4 and N10 symbols, we will be able to further reduce the net fishing effort along the east coast,” Mr McVeigh said.

“The inclusion of these symbols in the buyback will allow ocean beach, tunnel net and some fishers who target sharks in offshore waters to apply.

“These symbol holders can also use N1 apparatus to fish. The new criteria allow fishers who operate in this fishery to participate in the buyback.

“Another major change in the scheme is a fixed price offer rather than the tender process that operated previously.

“A fixed price has been set to further ensure equity in offers, but also to maximise the number of fishers who have access to the scheme.

“From today, information and application forms will be sent to all fishers who hold the symbols K, N4, N10, N1 and N2 should they wish to apply during the application period 4-29 November.

“Offers will be made directly to authority holders, who will have a set period of time to respond.”

Mr McVeigh said so far the buyback scheme had purchased 35 licence packages, including 113 symbols for different types of fishing.

“In total, we’ve spent $2.2 million out of the $9 million committed to the scheme, so there’s still an opportunity for fishers to be involved,” he said.

For more information on the East Coast Net Buyback Scheme, call Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23 or visit

Definition of symbols to be included in the buyback:

  • N1 fishery symbol – allows commercial fishers to use a number of different types of mesh nets depending on the area being fished. Generally, it does not allow for both ends of the nets to be set (anchored), nor can barramundi be taken with an N1. Used throughout the East Coast.
  • N2 fishery symbol – commercial fishers can use the same nets as an N1 fishery symbol, in addition to other nets that can be set (anchored) in most cases, and barramundi can be taken. Only used north of Kauri Creek (near Tin Can Bay).
  • K (ocean beach) fishery symbols – commercial fishers use the same nets as N1 symbol, and can also fish on ocean beaches between 1 April and 31 August each year.
  • N10 fishery symbols – commercial fishers use the same nets as N1 symbol and can also use tunnel nets up to 1700 metres within the waters of either Moreton Bay or Hervey Bay.
  • N4 fishery symbols – commercial fishers use same nets as N1 symbols and can also use large nets up to 1200 metres in length to target shark in offshore waters.

[ENDS] 8 October 2013

Media Contact: Louise Gillis 0408 709 160