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Another scampi fisher accepts compensation

Another scampi fisher accepts compensation

A second fisher identified by a Parliamentary select committee inquiry into the scampi fishery has accepted an offer of compensation, Fisheries Minister David Benson-Pope announced today.

Mr Benson-Pope says the fisher, who does not wish to be identified, has agreed to an ex-gratia payment of $500,000.

This is the second offer of compensation accepted, after another fisher accepted a payment of $400,000 last July. That fisher also did not wish to be publicly identified. In total, the select committee recommended compensation offers be made to six fishers.

“Today's announcement of a negotiated settlement is very pleasing,” Mr Benson-Pope said. "I believe this settlement underscores the fact that we have set out to negotiate a fair payment to affected scampi fishers, as government was asked by the select committee to do, and without the fisher having to prove a legal claim."

Mr Benson-Pope confirmed that the select committee recommended an ex-gratia payment of at least $400,000, and that the Government agreed that the higher amount of $500,000 would be fair in this latest case.

The select committee inquiry, completed in late 2003, was into the administration and management of the scampi fishery. The resulting report confirmed there was no corruption by staff of either the former Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, or the current Ministry of Fisheries. However, it recommend ex-gratia payments be negotiated with six named fishers identified as having a justified grievance.

The select committee also recommended the introduction of scampi into the Quota Management System from 1 October 2004, using catch history as the basis of quota allocation. This was achieved.

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