The NSW Government has announced a new strategic roadmap that will strengthen the commercial fishing sector over the next three years.
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said he has engaged the Commercial Fishing NSW Advisory Council (CommFish NSW) to work hand in hand with industry to develop the sustainable seafood strategy.
“The new plan will drive productivity, remove out-of-date regulations, promote innovation and strengthen the industry as a whole,” Mr Saunders said.
“We want to restore confidence and certainty for the sector, while also addressing longer-term challenges, after significant COVID-19 disruptions, bushfires and floods.”
CommFish NSW will seek advice from commercial fishers to get their input on several priority areas, including:
- Regulatory reform;
- Improved business systems, such as a digital trading platform and electronic data collection;
- Seafood product innovation and promotional grants to boost consumption and value;
- Ways to increase industry engagement; and
- Harvest strategies to provide more certainty for the future.
“The NSW Government is committed to removing impediments to the industry, and this roadmap will ensure we continue to streamline operations to help our hardworking commercial fishers boost their profits,” Mr Saunders said.
“The fishing sector is vital to maintain the economic, social and cultural richness of regional communities right up and down the NSW coast.”
The NSW Government will also support the ongoing rollout of harvest strategies to establish agreed management frameworks for key stocks, starting with the release of the NSW Trawl Whiting and Lobster Fishery harvest strategies.
“Harvest strategies help give commercial, recreational and Aboriginal cultural fishers greater certainty about how our fisheries will be maintained moving forward,” Mr Saunders said.
“The NSW Lobster Strategy, for example, establishes management objectives and rules for changes in harvest levels to help ensure the species is in stock for years to come.”
These plans also set the stage for a future of improved collaboration and transparency in fisheries management decisions.
Work is currently underway to develop additional harvest strategies for Spanner Crab and Mulloway, with more key species to follow later this year.