UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Tony Weiss a Bundaberg commercial fisherman is upset about the fisheries reform green paper.
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Tony Weiss a Bundaberg commercial fisherman is upset about the fisheries reform green paper. Mike Knott BUN250816FISHING2

Angler fears industry will become extinct

A BUNDABERG commercial fisherman says his industry faces extinction if some measures from the State Government's green paper for fisheries reform go ahead.

Tony Weiss, a fisherman for 35 years, believes some of the proposed measures in the green paper will restrict the fishing industry and cause irreparable damage.

"As a commercial fisher what we need is access to fisheries, so if we don't have that there is no commercial fishing industry," he said.

"They are also talking about putting tracking devices on us as well, which is an invasion of privacy.

"We need better access to our fisheries."

The green paper sets out 10 key proposals, which the government says will help shape the reforms, including managing target stocks, managing impacts on the ecosystem including non-target species and resource sharing between the commercial and recreational sectors.

Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson urged Mr Weiss to make a submission during the 10-week consultation period, which ends on September 30.

"The current plan originated in the 1970s and requires modernisation to ensure we have a sustainable and profitable fishing industry for generations to come," she said.

But Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said the green paper was a recipe for disaster for the region's commercial fishing sector and would lead to serious job losses and small business closures.

"I have spoken to numerous locals in the fishing industry and they have real fears for their future, and with good reason," he said.

"Catch targets contained in the green paper means cuts of between 40 and 50% in commercial harvests, which hasn't been based on any scientific data whatsoever."

Ms Donaldson has previously said a move to restore some fish stocks to 60% of unfished levels did not mean that existing catch would need to be reduced by 50%.

The green paper is available to be viewed at www.daf.qld.gov.au.


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