Strong interest in lobster licence buy back plan


Victoria, Australia: The Ministry of Agriculture has said that there has been strong interest in the Brumby Government's A$5 million (US$3.43 million) rock lobster licence buyback program in the Victorian western zone rock lobster fishery.

Minister Responsible for Fisheries Joe Helper said the aim of the program was to restructure the western zone rock lobster fishery in order to improve economic viability of the industry.

"There have been a promising number of tenders from licence holders. The Rural Finance Corporation is currently reviewing the tenders and will contact all applicants shortly.

"There will be a detailed announcement about the numbers of licences and quota units that have been removed from the fishery once all the licence holders have been contacted."

The tender period closed on Friday March 13.

Mr Helper said the program was established to help struggling licence holders who wish to leave the industry or downsize their business to do so with dignity.   

"The program also provides the option of a three month transitional quota period from April 1, 2009, whereby fishers exiting the industry may determine the best way for them to wind down their businesses," he said.

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