Fees biting shark fishers in Tasmania

Helen Kempton, The Mercury,
31. January 2012

TASMANIA’S small commercial shark fishers may be forced out of the industry by a massive hike in licence fees.

The cost of a South Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery hook licence has doubled over the past 12 months.

Some fishers are taking out bank loans to pay the annual fee which has climbed from $7000 to $14,000. Others are deciding to hand in their licences, and get out of the game.

A SESS hook licence allows the holder to catch 100kg of fish per trip. Already eight of the 48 hook licence holders in the south-eastern region have opted out this season.

West Coast councillor Robyn Gerrity has written to Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig asking him to intervene.

Shark fishing representatives from around the nation, including Tasmania, met in Canberra yesterday.

Cr Gerrity said the increase in fees was due to an over-run in the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s 2010-2011 budget.

The AFMA said: “The costs of managing the fishery have recently increased because of increased interactions with protected species such as sea lions and dolphins. To monitor these interactions costs have increased in order for the fishery to remain open.”

Source: themercury.com.au



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