The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) will be expanding its presence in Lakes Entrance with a regional office set to open in early 2018.
In making the announcement, AFMA Chair, Helen Kroger said that the decision was made after successfully trialling a Lakes Entrance based Liaison Officer for the last two years.
“Since 2015 AFMA, in conjunction with the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA), has had a dedicated AFMA staff member based in the area to work directly with the trawl industry on a daily basis,” Ms Kroger said. “This has proven successful for both industry and AFMA.
About six AFMA staff will be based at Lakes Entrance carrying out both fisheries management and compliance functions.
Member for Gippsland Darren Chester welcomed the announcement.
“This is excellent news for the Lakes Entrance community and for the fishing industry operating in the region,” Mr Chester said.
“Lakes Entrance is home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in Victoria and has a proud commercial fishing tradition going back a century.
“This move is a great example of decentralisation of government agency jobs that can be done in regional areas and regional living provides enormous benefits.”
South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association executive officer, Simon Boag, said the local commercial fishing sector looked forward to an enhanced relationship with AFMA.
“We’re absolutely committed to a sustainable resource and a sustainable industry, and working with AFMA ensures we’re meeting our obligations and compliance requirements in this respect so future generations of Australians can have the healthy supply of fresh seafood we enjoy today,” Mr Boag said.
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