A REVIEW into the management of Queensland’s fisheries is underway with the appointment of independent consultants MRAG Asia Pacific.
QLD Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said MRAG had been chosen from a strong field of candidates due to their extensive national and international fisheries experience.
“Fishing industry groups has indicated to me that a total overhaul of fisheries management in Queensland is long overdue,” Mr McVeigh said.
“Under the previous Labor Governments our fisheries suffered continual neglect.
“This Government is proactive and the aim of the review is to create a simplified fisheries management system - one which caters for the needs of all fisheries groups while at the same time ensuring ecological sustainability.
“MRAG Asia Pacific is part of the MRAG group of companies, which has a well-known international reputation for marine resource management.
“MRAG’s review team includes a strong mix of Australian and internationally respected fisheries scientists and managers who have held senior fisheries positions in Australia, New Zealand, the Western Pacific and the United States.”
McVeigh said the team would be led by Professor Glenn Hurry, who was finishing up his term as Executive Director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
The other members of the review team are:
- Tom McClurg – Director of Toroa Strategy Limited who has extensive private and public sector experience in New Zealand fisheries including senior roles with the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ernst & Young, and Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd;
- Duncan Souter – CEO of MRAG Asia Pacific, former CEO of the Queensland Seafood Industry Association and previous advisor to Australian Government Fisheries Ministers;
- and Dr Michael Sissenwine – Internationally respected fisheries scientist with extensive experience in the United States, Europe, Atlantic and eastern Pacific regions. Previous Chief Science Advisor for the US National Marine Fisheries Service and President of the Advisory Committee of the International Council for Exploration of the Sea.
Mr McVeigh said the review team would consult with industry and use its extensive national and international knowledge and experience to help examine what fisheries management approaches could apply to the unique circumstances surrounding Queensland fisheries.
“I expect to meet with the review team in the next couple of weeks. The team will then commence meetings to discuss the process and key priorities for the review, with their final report to be delivered by the end of the year,” he said.
There are concerns that this review seems to be focused solely on commercial fishing. Fisho is seeking to clarify the recreational fishing experience of the review team and what opportunities there will be for rec fisher involvement in the process.
Stay tuned for more details.