NSW government heralds 'big changes' to fishing industry

Katrina Hodgkinson and Gareth Ward at the announcement of Kiama Reef
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The New South Wales Government says big changes are likely to be on the way in the state's fishing industry and it is looking at a whole range of new proposals.

Submissions into the review proposals closed Friday 30 May, with 700 received.

Minister Katrina Hodgkinson says Department of Primary Industries staff will move through the submissions and formulate a response.

'I expect some decisions on the new proposals will be out by August and then the funds earmarked for readjustment, some $19 million, will probably start to roll out in January.

About 300 fishers voted unanimously on Friday to reject government's reform proposals.

Earlier in May, the state’s fishing groups formed a new peak body to represent the industry, which includes the Commercial Fishermen’s Association of NSW, Australian Marine Alliance, Professional Fishermen’s Association, Indigenous Fishing Association, Women’s Industry Seafood Council Fishing, Clarence River Fish Cooperative (representing 140 fishermen), the Hawkesbury Trawl Association and individual independent fishing businesses.

Meanwhile, at Kiama on the NSW south coast, the Minister and Member for Kiami, Gareth Ward announced last week that
Shoalhaven is set to become the State’s latest recreational fishing hotspot and the site of the South Coast’s first offshore artificial reef.

The artificial reef will be located about four kilometres offshore from Shoalhaven Heads, or about six kilometres from Crookhaven Heads.

'This exciting project will lure fish, recreational anglers and tourists to the South Coast, providing a welcome economic boost for the region,' Ms Hodgkinson said.

'The reef will feature 30 to 50 giant concrete modules, which will form a series of clusters about 30 metres below the surface of the water that will create the reef.

'Final environmental approvals are still being obtained, it is expected the reef will be deployed in October this year.'

Artificial reef
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Ms Hodgkinson said the reef will cost about $900,000 to construct and is a great example of how the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is reinvesting funds from the sale of the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee into projects which directly benefit recreational anglers.

'The South Coast offshore artificial reef is one of two the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has announced since the deployment of the popular Sydney reef – the State’s first – in 2011,' Ms Hodgkinson said.

'This reef has been designed to create new, high quality fish habitat for a wide range of fish species and other aquatic life, and provide a productive fishing location for boat fishers.

More at katrinahodgkinson.com
http://www.marinebusiness-world.com/122856