Question without notice - Recreational & Commercial Fishing Policies

Tuesday 26 October 2021


Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT


[2.58 p.m.]

Thank you, Mr President.


Regarding the policies of DPIPWE on commercial and recreational fishing, can the Leader please advise:

(1) How many endorsements have been issued by the department to catch King George whiting?


(2) What is the catch limit for each King George whiting endorsement holder?


(3) How are King George whiting catch limits managed when fishers are using nets?


(4) What happens to undersized catch in these circumstances?


(5) Regarding crayfish, can the Leader please advise whether it is being considered that the recreational catch limit is currently under consideration?


(6) Regarding recreational longline usage, can the Leader please advise whether the number of hooks on longlines will be reduced from the current number of 15?


(7) Are there any water police based in the north of the state?


(8) Regarding calamari and squid fishing, can the Leader please advise whether in the event of these stocks being overfished, commercial limits will be decreased before recreational limits will?


Ms Forrest - I think the Member for Windermere should answer that.


ANSWER


I thank the member for that question.


(1) There are no endorsements that apply specifically to King George whiting. Rather, King George whiting is one of a suite of species that commercial fishers can take with the gear allocated through their scalefish licences where they are authorised to operate.


(2) As above, there are no endorsements specific to King George whiting. There is no trip limit for holders of a scalefish gear licence.


(3) There is no trip limit for commercial fishers.


(4) The Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 stipulates that a person does not commit an offence if they return a fish to the water as soon as they become aware it may not be legal - in this case undersized. A person who uses a seine net must empty the net of scalefish before the net is removed from the water and must not haul the net ashore while there are scalefish in it. This may allow fishers to release undersize or non-target fish in good condition.


(5) Recreational bag and trip limits for rock lobster are not under review. The rock lobster management plan (Fisheries Rock Lobsters Rules 2011) provides a statewide total allowable recreational catch limit (TARC) of 170 tonnes. The latest estimate of statewide recreational rock lobster catch for the 2020-21 season was 81 tonnes. No change to the TARC is currently being considered.


(6) The number of hooks on a longline is not currently under review.


(7) Marine Police officers based in a number of locations in the north of the state. It may be appropriate to request further advice directly from Tasmania Police if you are looking for more advice on that.


(8) A discussion paper on management of the calamari fishery has recently been released for consultation. This is a non-statutory process to canvas these issues and receive feedback from recreational and commercial fishers. No formalised proposals have yet been developed, and any such proposals must undergo statutory consultation processes. Calamari is a shared stock between the sectors.


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