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Motion - to disallow Statutory Rules 2019, No. 63 Fisheries (Abalone) Amendment Rules 2019

Tuesday 9 November 2021

[11.30 a.m.]

Ms WEBB (Nelson) - Mr President, I move -

That the following parts of Statutory Rules 2019, No. 63, Fisheries (Abalone) Amendment Rules 2019 dated 23 September 2019 made under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and laid upon the Table of the Council on 19 November 2019, namely

(a) Section 9, Rule 18 amended (Quantity of abalone), paragraphs (a) and (c); and

(b) Section 10, Rule 18A inserted (18A Quantity of abalone in eastern region)

be disallowed as provided by Section 47 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1931.

[12.18 a.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I thank everyone who briefed us this morning as well. It was really very informative. I do fish but I do not fish well.

Ms Rattray - Owner of a large boat.

Ms ARMITAGE - My husband only knows how to sail, not fish. Unfortunately, I am a little bit in the dark. What I am hearing from my constituents is that the balance between creating a situation where our commercial fishers are supported and protected and our recreational fishers are able to meaningful experience the unique opportunities Tasmania has to offer might not be striking the right balance. I have some recreational fishers who visit me quite regularly, not just on abalone but on many different areas, and I have asked quite a few questions, I think, in the past of the Leader.

I am in no doubt whatsoever that for the viability of our marine climate and wider ecology, our fish stocks need to be protected and allowed to properly recover when they become depleted. This does take time. It is also a very necessary part of ensuring that everyone's interests are protected. For many people who are not professionals, fishing is a very important part of their life, in terms of their hobbies, health and recreation.

Recreational fishing is an extremely important part of the lifestyle that Tasmania has to offer. If catch limits are implemented, they need to be fair. For recreational fishers, reduced limits may disincentivise going out into the water completely. To the motion at hand, I do understand a reasonably significant consultation effort was undertaken by the department in formulating the current Abalone Fishery Management Plan. However, we cannot ignore the stakeholders who are vocalising their concerns now.

I was enlightened at the briefings this morning, hearing from the Tasmanian Amateur Sea Fishermen’s Association and the Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing. These associations are well organised and do speak for a significant number of fishers in Tasmania. Fair and reasonable access for recreational fishers to stocks of abalone is really all that is being asked for.

I would like to understand more about how the department plans to manage this as well as illegal and reckless fishing practices, which is probably a question for another time, such as overfishing or picking up undersized stock and by‑catch and it is raised with me quite regularly. There is a strong focus on reducing the catch limits but there are, perhaps, more resources and tools at our disposal to remediate abalone stocks.

The Council divided -


Ms Armitage Mr Duigan

Mr Gaffney (Teller) Ms Forrest

Ms Lovell Mrs Hiscutt

Dr Seidel Ms Howlett

Mr Valentine Ms Rattray (Teller)

Ms Webb

Mr Willie

Motion agreed to.


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