The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) will expand its operations in Lakes Entrance, Victoria, from one to eight staff, to better meet its business and operational needs in Australia’s largest commercial fishing port.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston, said the expansion will enable the regulator and industry to work more collaboratively.
“The Lakes Entrance port is home to the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery as well as other commercial fishers, who land over 4,000 tonnes annually,” Minister Ruston said.
“Species such as flathead, pink ling, whiting and shark are transported from the Lakes Entrance port to fish and chip shops right across Australia.
“Having an increased presence in the area will mean AFMA will be able to work more closely with industry on co-management arrangements, bycatch reduction, electronic monitoring and fisheries compliance operations.”
Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, said AFMA’s presence in Lakes Entrance is a great example of the Coalition Government’s plan to engage closely with industry and grow regional communities.
“Being within close proximity of the Victorian Fisheries Authority and co-located with industry associations like the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association makes a lot of business sense for this agency,” Mr Chester said.
“And what better place for AFMA to do business with commercial fishermen than being in Lakes Entrance, across the road from one of the most beautiful and productive ports Australia has to offer.
“The Lakes Entrance office is expected to be fully operational by June 2018, staffed with fisheries and bycatch managers in addition to compliance officers.”
The Lakes Entrance fishing port is annually worth over $63 million to the Australian economy.
For more information on the management of Australia’s south east trawling fisheries, visit afma.gov.au