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Management Changes Made to Australian Abalone Fishery

03 January 2014

AUSTRALIA - New management arrangements for the Western Zone Abalone Fishery are set to improve the integrity of the quota management system and reduce management costs.

Acting Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Leon Bignell said the new arrangements, which came into effect Wednesday January 1, 2014, follows extensive consultation with the industry.

The fishery covers the Eyre Peninsula and West Coast regions.

One of the main changes is the amalgamation of regions A and B into a single region. This simplifies management of this fishery because total allowable commercial catch (TACCs) is no longer needed for Region B.

Minister Bignell said this amalgamation also reduces management costs and simplifies the process for the commercial fisheries catch/effort reduction program for South Australian marine parks.

"While the total amount of displaced Blacklip and Greenlip Abalone catch will still be removed, the new arrangements make it easier for the process by now being associated with one licence," he said.

"This will provide fishers in the sector with flexibility in the choices of fishing locations across the fishery. By allowing them to harvest quota across a single zone area, it will lead to improvements in economic efficiency."

President of the Abalone Industry Association of South Australia Incorporated, Jonas Woolford, said the industry agreed on the amalgamation of the two zones following the extensive consultation process.

"With the fishing restrictions in the sanctuary zones set to take effect in October, it is important that both us and the State Government have worked together to devise ways of simplifying the catch/effort reduction program so this fishery can adapt and adjust as seamlessly as possible," said Mr Woolford.

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