26 October 2011
A new management plan has been developed for charter boat operators in South Australia to help ensure the sustainability of the state’s fish stocks.
Measures in the new 10-year Charter Boat Fishery Management Plan include indicators such as total catch for each species, passenger numbers and number of trips monitored through monthly log book reporting.
The objective is to ensure that access to fish stocks is shared equitably between fishing sectors and that fish are harvested within ecologically sustainable limits.
The new allocation policy has been developed by the Fisheries Council of South Australia and guides the allocation of shares of fisheries resources. The policy guides the explicit allocation shares of catches among the commercial, recreational and Aboriginal traditional fishing sectors.
Charter boat fishing is a commercial platform for recreational fishing and its catch is allocated as part of the broader recreational fishing sector.
Shares of two key charter boat fishery species, Snapper and King George Whiting, have been allocated under the plan.
Initial catch shares are based on current catch levels. For example charter boats can take 10 per cent of the total annual state-wide Snapper catch and three per cent for King George Whiting.
The charter boat fishery is well recognised as an important industry to South Australia and is a major drawcard for many visitors.
Overall, the charter boat industry contributed an estimated $24.1 million to the state’s economy in 2009-10.
Charter Boat Fishery licences will be issued for the full term of the 10-year management plan, giving licence holders greater certainty of access and the ability to engage in longer term business planning.
This is the first fishery management plan finalised under the Fisheries Management Act by the Fisheries Council, working with PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture and the charter boat industry.