The Coalition is applauding Labor’s announcement of 2 June 2016 that it is committed to stopping super trawlers from entering Australian waters.

In April 2015 the Coalition banned all super trawlers (boats over 130 metres) from entering Australian waters.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Anne Ruston said the Coalition was committed to managing Australia’s fisheries to ensure that both commercial and recreational fishers can co-exist and share the resource.

“That’s why a re-elected Turnbull Coalition will amend the Fisheries Management Act 1991 to ensure AFMA takes into account the interests of all fisheries users – commercial, recreational and indigenous fishers,” Minister Ruston said.

“We also propose amending legislation to increase the size of a number of Management Advisory Committees (MACs) for specific fisheries to enable the appointment of a recreational fishing sector representative, and move to have recreational fishing sector representatives appointed to Resource Assessment Groups.

“We are committed to a balanced and science-based approach to all decisions regarding access to Commonwealth fisheries.

“The Commonwealth’s strict commercial quota system caps the tonnage of fish that can be caught, regardless of the number or size of fishing boats,” Minister Ruston said.

“Commonwealth fisheries are an important and precious resource owned by the entire Australian community and shared by a range of stakeholders.

“Recreational fishing is a significant contributor to the national economy, particularly in regional areas and through local, interstate and international tourism.

“The Coalition respects the voice of the recreational fishing sector and wants to ensure it’s always consulted on relevant fisheries management decisions.

“Monitoring of our fisheries' health has demonstrated that no solely-managed Commonwealth fishery is subject to overfishing.

“We took an important step in 2013 by committing $550,000 over four years to support the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) to improve the capacity of the recreational fishing sector to constructively engage with government on national policy issues, as well as better communicate with fishers and the community and promote sustainable fishing methods through a revised National Recreational Fishing Code of Practice.

“Unlike Labor, the Coalition are serious about consultation with the more than five million recreational fishers in Australia.”