Call for comment on draft Tropical Rock Lobster Management Plan
The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) has released the draft Torres Strait Fishery (Quotas for Tropical Rock Lobster (Kaiar)) Management Plan 2016 (the draft Plan) for public comment.
The Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery is the most valuable fishery in the Torres Strait and the PZJA is encouraging all stakeholders to have a say in how the fishery is managed.
The release of the draft Plan is a positive step towards ensuring the continued sustainability and economic viability into the future. The draft Plan proposes the introduction of quota-based management.
Quota management will allow catches to be capped, improve the value of fishing entitlements held and provide a means for Traditional Inhabitants to pursue their aspiration of 100 per cent ownership of the fishery.
The introduction of a Management Plan for the Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery will bring it into line with other Torres Strait fisheries already under Management Plans including the prawn and finfish (Spanish mackerel and reef-line) fisheries.
The PZJA recognises that the Torres Strait Regional Authority is seeking additional elements in the Plan; these include:
- introducing an economic development contribution from the holders of transferable quota;
- the Traditional Inhabitant sector (TIB) to be given first right of refusal in sale of Transferable Vessel Holder (TVH) licences; and
- transfers only to be made between existing licence holders in pursuit of 100 per cent ownership by traditional owners.
Those with an interest in the management of the Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery are welcome to provide comments on the draft Plan by 26 September 2016.
At the request of PBC Chairpersons, AFMA will hold public meetings at each Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Community to explain the purpose and provisions of the draft Plan.
A further meeting will be convened in Cairns, subject to stakeholder interest, at a date and venue to be determined.
To see the draft Plan please visit the PZJA website at www.pzja.gov.au. Written submissions on the draft Plan can be sent to: AFMA Torres Strait Office, 38 Victoria Parade PO Box 376, Thursday Island, QLD 4875, Australia or faxed to 07 4069 1277 or by email to trlinfo [at] afma.gov.au.
AFMA media: 0437 869 860 or media [at] afma.gov.au