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Port River Mud Cockle fishery to close

MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday 28 June 2011

The Port River Mud Cockle fishing zone is being closed to both recreational and commercial fishing due to concerns about sustainability.

PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Executive Director, Professor Mehdi Doroudi, said the fishery would be closed from 1 July 2011 until 30 June 2012.

“After serious concerns were raised by Mud Cockle quota holders regarding the health of the Port River stock, PIRSA consulted with and received support for the closure from representative bodies for all fishing sectors,” Professor Doroudi said.

“The closure of the Port River zone means it will be prohibited to take Mud Cockles by all licence holders with commercial access to the fishery.

“Recreational fishers must also abide by the closure.

“It was a responsible move by quota holders through their association to request the closure in the interests of long term sustainability.

“It is hoped that the closure will allow Mud Cockle stocks to replenish and that fishing of this resource will again be possible in the future.

“The next biomass survey of Mud Cockle stocks is due to be undertaken by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) during the 2011-12 financial year.

“Assessments will be made following this survey to determine if the fishery should be re-opened in the following year.

“As most recreational fishing for Mud Cockles is believed to occur in Coffin Bay, the closure of the Port River cockle fishing zone is likely to have a minor impact on the recreational sector.”

The closure applies to the Port River and surrounding waters east of a line from the end of Port Gawler Road to the tip of the Lefevre Peninsula, Outer Harbor. Signage will be installed at boat ramps in the region to inform the general public of the closure area.

All fishing sectors that have access to the Port River Mud Cockle resource have supported the closure.

Peter Welch, Executive Officer for the Marine Fishers’ Association said Mud Cockle fishers decided that the stock needed respite from one year of take by all users to give the best possible chance for the fishery to recover.

“The closure is a good result for the sustainability of the Mud Cockle fishery in the Port River zone,” he said.

South Australian Recreational Fishing Advisory Council (SARFAC) chairman Brenton Schahinger said they supported the move because it was in the interests of sustainability and protecting the species.

“SARFAC cares greatly about the sustainability of all fish stocks including Mud Cockles.”

 

Distributed by: Cathy Parker, PIRSA Strategic Communications.

Ph: 8226 0338 or 0423 296 579