Final round for net fishing buyback

Commercial net fishers on the East Coast have one last opportunity to participate in the Queensland Government’s net buyback scheme.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh said the Newman Government was delivering on its election promise to invest up to $9 million in the net fishing buyback scheme.

“The buyback scheme is part of our strong plan to ensure a sustainable fishing industry in Queensland,” Mr McVeigh said.

“Labor ignored the needs of our commercial fishing industry for years and many fishers faced an uncertain future.

“Following the success of the previous buyback rounds, we are now offering net fishers the opportunity to either sell back their symbols or sell their entire licence package.
“Fishers who operate in the East Coast net fishery may offer to sell their entire commercial vessel licence package for a predetermined amount up to a capped value.
“Net fishers may sell their N1 or N2 symbol for a fixed amount. N1 allows commercial fishers to use a number of different types of mesh nets depending on the area being fished. N2 allows commercial fishers to use the same nets as an N1 fishery symbol and they can take barramundi.

“Fishers who hold N10, N4 or K symbols (ocean beach, tunnel net and large offshore net) are also eligible for the buyback.”

Mr McVeigh said the Newman Government had spent more than $3.8 million as part of the scheme and purchased 36 licences including 69 large mesh net symbols.
“We’re keen for more commercial fishers to either surrender their symbols or their entire licence in a bid to further reduce the net fishing effort along the East Coast,” he said.
“The round formally opens on 8 September and will close on 19 December.

“All eligible entitlement holders will be written to in the near future outlining full details of the scheme.”

For more information on the scheme, call Fisheries Queensland on 13 25 23 or visit www.qraa.qld.gov.au.
[ENDS] 19 August 2014

Media Contact: Louise Gillis 0408 709 160

Definition of symbols to be included in the buyback:
N1 fishery symbol – allows commercial fishers to use a number of different types of mesh nets depending on the area being fished. Generally, it does not allow for both ends of the nets to be set (anchored), nor can barramundi be taken with an N1. Used throughout the East Coast.
N2 fishery symbol – commercial fishers can use the same nets as an N1 fishery symbol, in addition to other nets which can be set (anchored) in most cases, and barramundi can be taken. Only used north of Kauri Creek (near Tin Can Bay).
K (ocean beach) fishery symbols – commercial fishers use the same nets as N1 symbol, and can also fish on ocean beaches between 1 April and 31 August each year.
N10 fishery symbols – commercial fishers use the same nets as N1 symbol and can also use tunnel nets up to 1700 metres within the waters of either Moreton Bay or Hervey Bay.
N4 fishery symbols – commercial fishers use same nets as N1 symbols and can also use large nets up to 1200 metres in length to target shark in offshore waters.