AUSTRALIA - The Department of Environment and Primary Industries has set the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) for abalone and ocean scallops for the 2014-15 fishing season.
Fisheries Victoria Executive Director Ross McGowan said the TACCs for 2014-15 were based on scientific stock assessments that helped to ensure stocks were fished sustainably.
Mr McGowan said an abalone TACC of 784.7 tonnes (total from three zones) had been set for the
upcoming 2014-15 fishing year, which started on 1 April.
“The abalone TACC was set with the aim of rebuilding and conserving abalone stocks for commercial and recreational fishers to enjoy and share for years to come,” Mr McGowan said.
“Abalone is Victoria’s most valuable commercial fishery worth around A$24 million annually.”
Mr McGowan said that the Victorian ocean scallop fishery had been re-opened last year following a three-year closure due to low scallop numbers in Bass Strait.
“A TACC of 136.5 tonnes had been set for the 2014-15 ocean scallop season,” Mr McGowan said.
“This is a conservative TACC that allows fishers to explore scallop stocks in Bass Strait and provide valuable information on the state of stocks and their recovery.”
Port Phillip Bay’s new small-scale, hand-harvested scallop dive fishery is expected to be operating by late 2014.
Mr McGowan said that consulting with a range of stakeholders was an important part of setting TACCs and included the views of commercial and recreational fishing sectors along with conservation groups.
TACCs are used to help manage key Victorian commercial fisheries including abalone, scallops, rock lobster and giant crab.
TACCs for rock lobster and giant crab for the 2014-15 fishing season are due to be finalised shortly.
TheFishSite News Desk