NSW Government supports establishment of Commercial Fishing peak industry body


The NSW Government is delivering on its election commitment by supporting a peak body for the commercial fishing sector.

Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty announced the NSW Commercial Fishing Industry Association (CFIA) at the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards on Tuesday evening (23 April 2024) and the CFIA appointed inaugural chair, Mr John Wilson.

The newly formed CFIA will provide an opportunity for the NSW commercial fishing industry to be represented to Government, key stakeholders and the wider community, through a united voice.

Mr Wilson, from the Southern Tablelands of NSW, comes to the position with a diverse background including as the Company Secretary of the Seafood Co-operative Centre Company, Director at the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, General Manger Business and Chief Financial Officer at the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC).

The CFIA has been developed through an industry-facilitated process involving stakeholder-wide consultation to establish an allied peak industry body to provide advocacy to Government.

The annual total value of NSW wild harvest commercial fisheries is in the order of $90 million at first point of sale, and contributes $170 million to the states production each year, employing more than 1,661 people directly.

The NSW commercial fisheries are carefully managed as the resource is shared amongst over 1,000 commercial fishers who catch fish for the whole community to enjoy.

The NSW Government also continues to push ahead with establishing a peak body to represent the NSW recreational fishing sector.

Minister for Agriculture Minister Moriarty said:

“The CFIA will help ensure commercial NSW seafood continues to be viable, profitable, and sustainable.

“This peak body for commercial fishing will focus on industry representation, advocacy, building the industry’s capacity to participate in shared decision-making as well as consultation and communication with commercial fishers.

“The NSW Government recognises the challenges in making commercial fisheries sustainable and has worked closely with the industry to lead many of the changes to improve environmental performance.

“I also congratulate the winners at last night’s Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards. NSW has some of the best seafood in the world and all entrants are great examples of the excellence happening across the industry.”

Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards winners & highly commended 2024:

Primary Producer Award (NSW)

  • Winner: Troy Billin (Yamba Fisheries)
  • Highly Commended: The Byrnes Family

Primary Producer Award (Interstate/Overseas)

  • Winner: 4 Seas

Seafood Business Award

  • Winner: Coffs Harbour Fishermen’s Cooperative
  • Highly Commended: Fish in the Family

Restaurant Award

  • Winner: The Poyer’s Restaurant
  • Highly Commended: Besuto Omakase

Promotion Award

  • Winner: Narooma Oyster Festival
  • Highly Commended: Professional Fishers Association (Taste of Seafood Festivals)

People Development Award

  • Winner: Professional Fishers Association (Fishers Business Skills Program)

Safety Award

  • Winner: Tuna Australia (Research to improve worker safety and reduce bycatch)

Environment Award

  • Winner: OceanWatch Australia
  • Highly Commended: Mitch Sanders

Research Development and Extension Award

  • Winner: OceanWatch Australia (East Coast Whale Entanglement Program)

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