LNP plan to protect jobs and fish for the future

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Thousands of jobs will be secured and consumers will be empowered to choose fresh seafood caught in Queensland waters through the LNP’s plan for a strong and sustainable fishing industry.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington today announced $8.5 million in funding for new initiatives to future-proof the commercial industry, boost recreational fishing and market Queensland seafood.

An LNP Government will introduce a voluntary fishing license buyback scheme, implement a ReefSafe labelling policy for seafood sustainably sourced from the Great Barrier Reef and deliver three new artificial reefs to support recreational fishers.

“Creating a stronger, more sustainable fishing industry is part of the LNP’s plan to stimulate the economy and create a decade of secure jobs,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Queensland is renowned for its world-class seafood, but we’ve only scratched the surface of the industry’s full potential.

“The LNP’s plan will reshape and re-energise our fishing industry.

“Our plan to introduce a voluntary license buyback scheme will protect local marine life while creating more secure jobs for commercial fishers.

“The voluntary buyback scheme will target licenses in the Cape and provide an important structural adjustment to the industry, while protecting dugongs, marine turtles and other local marine life.”   

“Less nets in the water means less pressure on fish stocks, but it also means more long-term jobs and more profits for fishing businesses.

“The ReefSafe labelling initiative will mean Queenslanders can back businesses sustainably sourcing produce from the Great Barrier Reef.

“Buying more Queensland seafood means more jobs for Queenslanders and a stronger economy.

“The seafood industry employs 3000 people in Queensland and the LNP’s plan will secure those jobs well into the future.

“The new artificial reefs will create more tourism opportunities for coastal towns and boost local economies though an increase spend from visiting anglers.

“Whether its Moreton Bay bugs, Mooloolaba king prawns or Whitsunday wild snapper – we know seafood is a popular choice for many Queensland households and supports local businesses up and down the Queensland coast.

“These new fishing initiatives are part of the LNP’s Food and Job Security Plan to secure Queensland’s future for the next generation.”

Shadow Minister for Fisheries Tony Perrett said the ReefSafe initiative built on the LNP’s previously announced seafood labelling policy

“A staggering 70 per cent of seafood consumed by Aussies is imported, which means profits and jobs go overseas,” Mr Perrett said.

“Queensland seafood is the best in the world and that’s why the LNP will partner with the fishing industry to trial labels for wild seafood caught in Wide Bay and the Whitsundays.

“The LNP knows Queenslanders will support local seafood – they just need to be empowered with the information.

“As well as knowing where their seafood comes from, the LNP will empower consumers to support businesses operating sustainably in the Great Barrier Reef.

“The LNP will work with the commercial fishing industry, environmental groups and consumers to develop the ReefSafe labelling to promote seafood caught sustainably off the Reef.”

Mr Perrett said commercial fishing operators ready to leave the industry would be incentivised through the LNP’s voluntary license buyback scheme.

“The buyback scheme will make the fishing industry more economically and environmentally sustainable,” Mr Perrett said.

“It will secure long-term jobs for existing businesses and provide a dignified pathway for those in the industry that want out.”

Mr Perrett said artificial reefs were a great way to boost local economies and their location will be determined through community consultation.

“Better fishing experiences mean more visiting anglers spending time and money in the community,” Mr Perrett said.

”Queenslanders love to get out on the water and our plan to deliver three new artificial reefs will give recreational anglers more opportunities to reel in more and bigger fish.

“This is evidence-based policy supporting more eco-tourism opportunities in the Cape through recreational and guided fishing ventures that supports local tourism operators.

“The LNP plan to get Queensland fishing again is good for consumers, a win for local jobs and help protect the Reef.”

The LNP’s $8.5 million fishing plan highlights:

  • $1 million to develop, implement and market Queensland ReefSafe label and regional wild-caught labelling for seafood from Wide Bay and Whitsundays
  • $6 million voluntary licence buyback scheme to future-proof the industry. The voluntary buyback program will prioritise buying back gill net licences and other licences in Region 1 of the East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fisher and the offshore shark fishery provides tangible environmental benefits. Region 1 is home to the largest population of dugongs on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as supporting some of the last remaining populations of snubfin dolphins, turtles, sawfish and threatened sharks.
  • $1.5 million to construct 3 new artificial reefs
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