COMMERCIAL rock lobster fishers will be able to carry-over uncaught quota and have extended fishing seasons in temporary changes to help fishers manage the financial impacts of the double impact of COVID and trade restrictions.
Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said changes are being introduced at the request of the state’s rock lobster fishers and will help the industry which has experienced a challenging 12 months.
Mr Basham said southern zone rock lobster fishers will be granted additional time to catch quota this year, with the current season being expanded to July 31 and the next season opening on September 15.
He said fishers will also be granted the option to carry over up to 20pc of their quota entitlements from this season to the next if they do not catch all of their quota, which has been recommended by the industry.
“To help navigate the current market turbulence, our fishers have requested extended fishing seasons as well as the opportunity to carry over quota,” Mr Basham said.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is pleased to support these requests and provide fishers with the flexibility they need, so long as the sustainability of our premium fish species is protected.
“These changes build on similar flexible arrangements for fisheries introduced last year in response to COVID-19 market disruptions and I thank all fishers who engaged with their local industry representatives to reach these recommendations.”
“South Australia’s rock lobster industry is incredibly important to our state economy supporting thousands of jobs and the sector has endured a challenging past year through the double impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes to trade with China.”
South Eastern Professional Fishermen’s Association executive officer Nathan Kimber said the temporary management changes for the Southern Zone was welcome news.
“The rock lobster industry has been impacted by a range of market disturbances and access issues over the past 14 months,” Mr Kimber said.
“These temporary management measures will provide fishers with a level of flexibility as they assess the best ways to deal with the current market outlook.”