Marine scalefish fishery reform

South Australia's Commercial Marine Scalefishery needs reforming to ensure sustainable fish stocks and a viable industry into the future.

In 2018 the State Government established a 'Commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery Reform Advisory Committee' to guide the development and implementation of a reform package for the South Australian commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery.

The Advisory Committee has undertaken broad industry engagement to explore potential reforms including:

  • introducing zones
  • fleet rationalisation
  • introduction of a modernised fisheries management system.

Industry consultation now closed

Consultation on the proposed reforms is now closed. Consultation was undertaken in September and October 2019, and included regional meetings with commercial licence holders alongside inviting feedback on the industry consultation paper.

We would like to thank licence holders and fishers for their contributions to this process.

Complexities of the Marine Scalefish Fishery

The Marine Scalefish Fishery is a complex fishery which targets more than 60 species of fish using a range of gear types in our coastal waters. It is also a shared access fishery with the same species supporting a significant amount of recreational fishing activity and some traditional fishing.

Advisory Committee focus and positions

It is acknowledged that for there to be a strong and vibrant commercial industry into the future, there is excess fishing capacity in the commercial fishery, in terms of the current nominal (number of licences) and effective (catching capacity) fishing effort. As such, the focus of the reform process is on the commercial sector.

Accordingly, the Advisory Committee includes six members from the commercial MSF, one Rock Lobster Fishery member in recognition of its formal access to marine scalefish species, one recreational fisher in acknowledgement of the recreational sector’s interest in this shared access fishery, one independent chair, and one independent economist.

Terms of reference - Commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery Reform Advisory Committee (DOCX 152.9 KB).

Chair’s reports

Input and feedback from PIRSA

PIRSA fisheries management and scientific research staff, as well as a technical advisory working group and an industry forum, will also provide input and feedback on reform options as they are developed, to support the Committee.

Commercial Marine Scale Fisheries Reform Advisory Committee members

  • Independent chairperson (David Hall)
  • Independent economist (Roger Edwards)
  • Commercial Marine Scalefish Fishery (Bart Butson, Craig Fletcher, Johnny Kouvaris, Gary Lloyd, Neil Schmucker, Amanda Wheeler)
  • Rock Lobster Fishery (Joel Redman)
  • Member providing recreational fishing sector perspective (Wally Lamont)
  • Fisheries management expert from PIRSA’s Fisheries and Aquaculture division (Jon Presser)
  • Fisheries science expert from PIRSA’s research division SARDI (Dr Mike Steer)
  • Committee support officer (Jonathan McPhail).

More information

For more information about the reform of the Marine Scalefish Fishery, please contact:

Mr Jon Presser, Manager Fisheries Reform, PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture
Phone: (08) 8429 0588

Page Last Reviewed: 11 Oct 2019
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