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Scampi to be introduced to the fisheries QMS

Friday, 19 December 2003 Media Statement

Scampi to be introduced to the fisheries Quota Management System in 2004

Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson will introduce legislation next year to introduce scampi to the Quota Management System (QMS) from 1 October 2004.

Mr Hodgson decided in principle in June 2002 to introduce scampi to the QMS. He confirmed that decision this month in response to the Primary Production Committee's inquiry into the fishery, which said the introduction should proceed.

"I am firmly of the view that scampi should be introduced into the QMS as quickly as possible, to enable the best possible management of this valuable fishery," Mr Hodgson said today.

"Until the species is introduced to the QMS it is being managed as a competitive fishery, in which fishers race each other to catch as much as they can before the catch limit is reached and the fishery is closed for the season. The QMS is far superior in providing for sustainable management of the fishery and efficient use of industry resources.

"The most certain and transparent means of introducing scampi to the QMS next year is by legislation. I will therefore be introducing a Bill to this effect next year. Species are usually introduced to the QMS by a process beginning with a notice in the Gazette, but the history of litigation and delays to the introduction of scampi argues for introduction by a process that gives all parties more certainty and clarity about the way ahead."

As recommended by the Primary Production Committee, the allocation of scampi quota will be based on the standard Fisheries Act criteria of catch history between 1990-92. The legislation will allocate provisional catch history to specified fishers by way of a schedule, taking account of specific recommendations by the committee on catch histories. Fishers' rights to appeal to the Catch History Review Committee will be unaffected.

ENDS

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