Minister Anthony Lynham
Minister Anthony Lynham Contributed

EASTER SEAFOOD: Supply cuts in the pipeline for next year

PROPOSED cuts to Queensland's inshore fishing harvest are environmentally unnecessary and economically destructive, according to the state Opposition.

But the state Government yesterday said it wanted to hear from the industry and plan for a sustainable fishery.

"We are currently in the middle of getting direct feedback from fishers on proposed quota rules,” acting Fisheries Minister, Anthony Lynham said.

"We will not apologise for consulting with the people who live by these rules.

"Other reforms already made to managing our fisheries reflects international best practise, and our widespread and ongoing consultation with industry.

But Gympie MP and LNP Shadow Fisheries Minister Tony Perrett said previous experience led many to doubt the consultation was genuine.

POWER 30 - Gympie MP Tony Perrett.
POWER 30 - Gympie MP Tony Perrett. Philippe Coquerand

He and northern parliamentary neighbour, Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen, said they had already consulted with fishing interests and had been told the planned changes would shut them down.

Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce meet the candidates forum, Aquavue - Member for Hervey Bay LNP's Ted Sorensen.
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce meet the candidates forum, Aquavue - Member for Hervey Bay LNP's Ted Sorensen. Valerie Horton

"Labor's proposed changes to crab, trawl and inshore fishing quotas are failing not only commercial fishers but also the communities they support,” Mr Perrett said.

"These proposed changes have real world impacts as they immediately devalue licenses.

"Under the proposed changes, crab fishery allocations will receive between 40 to 68 per cent of their average catch resulting in an average of 30 to 60 per cent loss of income.

"We have heard testimonies from commercial fishers with decades of experience saying these changes will be the end of them.”

Mr Sorensen called for more openness, saying fishers had been left in the dark and were yet to be shown the "justification, science, and rationale behind the quota changes.”

"Queensland's fisheries stocks are in great shape according to the 2018 Australian Fish Stocks Reports,” Mr Sorensen said.

"It's time to put science and transparency into fisheries,” he said.