AUSTRALIA - Future stocking programmes for aquatic resources in South Australian waters will now be guided under a new risk-based policy and assessment process.
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) Director Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy, Sean Sloan, said the Policy for the release of aquatic resources has been developed to guide applicants who wish to re-stock or translocate live aquatic resources from one area to another.
“There are a diverse range of factors that affect the sustainability and productivity of fish stocks,” Mr Sloan said.
“It is increasingly recognised that stock enhancement is one of the successful options to increase the productivity of a fish stock, so this policy will provide the framework to support stocking activities, such as the current Murray Cod stock enhancement and monitoring programme.”
The policy relates to three types of stocking of aquatic resources; conservation stocking (to recover protected, endangered or threatened species); stock enhancement (to augment existing stocks to provide improved fishing opportunities); and harvest stocking (to establish stocks in waters where the stock or fishery does not exist, such as in dam initiatives).
Mr Sloan said the policy had been developed following a consultation process led by PIRSA last year with other Government agencies, industry, RecFish SA, the Conservation Council, local government, and other interested stakeholders both within South Australia and interstate.
“The South Australian policy is consistent with national policy and will ensure that there is effective coordination and consistency with aquatic resources translocations within Australia,” he said.
“It creates a nationally accepted, explicit and transparent risk assessment process along with appropriate support legislation, acceptable levels of compliance and an opportunity for regular assessment and continuous improvement of the overall approach.”
“This consistent approach also provides regulators such as PIRSA with an opportunity to make the community and industry aware of the process and the potential risks associated with the translocation of live aquatic stock.”
Mr Sloan said applicants looking to translocate aquatic resources into South Australia will be assessed on a case-by-basis.
TheFishSite News Desk