The Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) will implement a tropical rock lobster (TRL) fishery management plan, from December 1, to coincide with the commencement of the Torres Strait Fisheries Amendment (Tropical Rock Lobster) Management Instrument 2018.
“The Management Plan will implement a quota management system and includes an allocation process that will take a minimum of 10 months,” said Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck.
“The PZJA has agreed to an interim total allowable catch (TAC) of 200 tonnes from December 1, which will allow fishers to head out and free dive and lamp fish from this weekend, and hookah fishing can commence on February 1, 2019.
“The annual stock assessment undertaken by CSIRO has been completed and the PZJA expects to receive advice from the TRL Resource Assessment and Working Groups early next year, in order to determine a final TAC by late March 2019.”
“Management arrangements have been made for the 2018–19 fishing season while the management plan gets implemented,” said Pedro Stephen, chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority.
“The instrument will ensure Traditional Inhabitant Boat (TIB) fishers are allocated 66.17 per cent of the TAC and 33.83 per cent will be allocated to the Transferable Vessel Holder (TVH) licence holders, according to the October 2007 provisional allocation notices.
“The PZJA recognises and fully supports the aspirations of Traditional inhabitants to increase their share of TRL Fishery quota to 100 per cent and the Management Plan will pave the way.”
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