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Reductions In Abalone Catch Aimed At Protecting St

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The total allowable catch (TAC) for abalone for commercial abalone fishers and the bag limit for recreational fishers will be reduced in the coming season.

Both new limits come into effect tomorrow, July 1, and will remain in place subject to a review by an independent taskforce later this year.

While this will have a short-term impact on both sectors, the decision is necessary to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the abalone industry and recreational fishery.

The decision to reduce both catches was based on the latest science, which indicates abalone stocks are at critical levels due to illegal poaching, the effects of the Perkinsus parasite, and natural environmental changes.

The new TAC is the result of a decision by the Total Allowable Catch Committee to reduce the commercial catch. The committee comprises independent experts, who determined the catch should be significantly reduced for 2005/6 in order to allow abalone stocks time to recover.

From tomorrow (1st July 05) the annual TAC for commercial fishers will be 130 tonnes, down from 206.

The decision by the TAC Committee was made after careful considerations of the results of the annual scientific assessment of abalone stock, and consultation with industry, the Department of Primary Industries and other stakeholders.

While the TAC Committee can only make a formal decision on the commercial catch, it also recommended a reduction on the recreational bag limit, which was accepted.

The bag limit for recreational fishers will be 2, down from 10, and a three-month education program will be in place to enable recreational fishers time to adjust to the new limits.

Organised crime syndicates have targeted abalone stocks, significantly adding to the problems facing the industry.

Last year DPI Fisheries officers on the South Coast seized more than 11,800 abalone destined for the black market. The DPI has successfully prosecuted a number of poaching cases, and officers will continue to remain vigilant in the fight to stamp out this crime.

A new, large fisheries boat will be deployed on the NSW South Coast to target illegal fishing, particularly abalone.

Because of the impact of these decisions on both sectors an independently chaired taskforce will be formed to review the reduction and provide recommendations on the future directions of the fishery.

It will report to the Minister later this year at which point catch limits for both sectors will be considered.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all

TFP has got the Abalone TAC report on it's website. Unfortunately I could not load it here as an attachment. Please peruse for yourself and make up your own mind but here is a summary>

It says this:

The industry has made frequent submissions concerning the level and growth of

Illegal catches, particularly in closed areas. Unfortunately, the Committee is unable to make authoritative statements concerning the amount of illegal catch but notes that the shallow, inshore and extensive nature of NSW abalone stocks continues to present a major compliance challenge. With the fishery in its current severely stressed state, the Committee emphasises the importance of implementing the major recommendations of Palmer report to reduce the level of illegal catches.


Revenue in the fishery has suffered a significant decline from $18 million in calendar year 2000 to $8.4 in 2004, as a result of both falling catches and prices. If the current 2004 price ($36) is maintained, and given the determined TAC of 130 tonnes, the revenue for 12 month 2005-06 quota period would be around $4.7 million. Such declines in revenue clearly have implications for the future viability of the industry, if present catches and prices continue and appropriate adjustments do not occur. This conclusion also applies when net returns to shareholders are considered, since there are few options available to significantly reduce costs per unit of catch in the short term and operators appear to be reluctant to exit the industry.

Read the conclusion bit on page 38. What a %#&^ up! They admit to so much mismanagement it is hard to believe this is a government sanctioned report! The issues are:

Bad software

Over fishing leading to dumping

No understanding of the impact of SARS, Bird Flu on diners in Asia

No understanding of the management of the export of the product

No mention of reinvestment in farming in clean water filter tanks

An observation in falling revenue from $18M - $4M

Bob Smith

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