Quota management plan proposed for rock lobster fishery

A new draft plan proposes a quota-based management system for the tropical rock lobster fishery in the Torres Strait, between Australia and New Guinea.

The fishery is the most valuable in the Torres Strait and the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) believes a quota management system will generate additional revenue, particularly for the Traditional Inhabitant sector.

“The release of the draft Plan is a positive step towards ensuring the continued sustainability and economic viability into the future,” said the Australian Fisheries Management Authority in a statement.

Already, the other Torres Strait fisheries, prawn and finfish (Spanish mackerel and reef-line), are under management plans.

“A quota management system will provide an opportunity for the Traditional Inhabitant sector to generate revenue through quota leasing,” PZJA said in a statement. “The PZJA sees the release of the draft plan as a positive step towards the long-term sustainability of the fishery by capping catches and establishing a tool for increasing the Traditional Inhabitant share of the resource. “

The Torres Strait Regional Authority is seeking additional elements in the plan, including: introducing an economic development contribution from the holders of transferable quota, the Traditional Inhabitant sector (TIB) to be given first right of refusal in sale of Transferable Vessel Holder (TVH) licenses, and transfers only to be made between existing license-holders in pursuit of 100 percent ownership by traditional owners.

Those interested should provide written public comments on the draft Plan by 26 September. Comments can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to: AFMA Torres Strait Office, 38 Victoria Parade PO Box 376, Thursday Island, QLD 4875, Australia.


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