Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Western Australian Fisheries Minister, Ken Baston, have agreed to changes to the Offshore Constitutional Settlement arrangements between the Commonwealth and Western Australia that are to be implemented immediately.
The changes are set to strengthen offshore fisheries management, streamline regulations and reduce red tape in order to secure healthier and more sustainable Australian fisheries.
“We are committed to ensuring Australian managed fisheries have current regulations and arrangements that allow for the best possible management. The revised arrangements will strengthen Australia’s stance against illegal foreign fishing and ensure the protection of fisheries resources and marine environment in waters off North-Western Australia,” Senator Colbeck said.
The first change is aimed at correcting errors and updating the inshore boundaries of two Commonwealth trawl fisheries off Western Australia. The first change will also eliminate uncertainties for both State and Commonwealth operators, Minister Baston revealed in a statement.
“The second change will enable Commonwealth monitoring and prevention of illegal foreign fishing activity in the Australia-Indonesia ‘MoU Box’ – an area of Australian waters off Western Australia where traditional fishing by Indonesian nationals is permitted,” reads the Minister’s statement.
“Continuous improvement of arrangements is a key process in the management of Australian fisheries and ensures that Australia remains a leader in global fisheries management practices. The new arrangements will be underpinned by a MoU between the two governments which will require complementary harvest strategies and other safeguards to ensure sustainable management of fish stocks in both Commonwealth and State-managed fisheries,” Mr Baston said.