New criteria targets commercial net fishing

MORE Queensland anglers will be eligible to have their east coast commercial net fishing licences and or symbols bought back by the State Government under new criteria announced on Tuesday.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the State 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," he said.

"The major change in the new scheme is the targeting of east coast net fishery symbols rather than primary licences."

Mr McVeigh said a licence grants the 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.

"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," he 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.

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

Mr McVeigh said 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.

"Offers will be made directly to authority holders, who will have a set period of time to respond," he said.

"So far the buyback scheme had purchased 35 licence packages, including 113 symbols for different types of fishing.

"In total, we have spent $2.2m out of the $9m committed to the scheme, so there is still an opportunity for fishers to be involved."

For further information on the East Coast Net Buyback Scheme visit http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au



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