The NSW Nationals in Government are taking steps to improve business efficiencies and profitability in the commercial fishing sector, with a review of industry regulations now underway.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the government was seeking feedback from the community to identify any existing commercial fishing regulations that may no longer be necessary or impede business efficiency and profitability.

“The NSW commercial fishing industry has undergone significant reform in recent years and as a result, a new management framework directly controls the amount of catch that can be taken from, or effort that can be used in a fishery,” Mr Marshall said.

“We now have the opportunity to update or remove any rules that are out of date, redundant or superseded due to these reforms and may be hindering business efficiency for commercial fishers.

“This government is committed to supporting a profitable and sustainable commercial fishing sector and is seeking feedback from commercial fishers, recreational fishers and anyone else with an interest in commercial fishing regulations.”

NSW Nationals Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey, whose coastal electorate was home to a number of commercial fishing operations, said there was potential to remove rules and regulations.

“The NSW commercial fishing industry has undergone much change in recent years and this regulatory review is a good opportunity for local fishers to identify what edicts  are not required,” she said.

The NSW Nationals in Government have partnered with the industry, through the NSW Seafood Industry Council to undertake consultation with fishers and industry participants.

Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Fisher’s Association (PFA) Tricia Beatty welcomed the commencement of the consultation and said it was something the industry had been calling for, for some time.

“Our industry has been regulated through complex rules and now that the restructure is completed it is time to strip out the unnecessary regulations that often cause confusion and inefficiencies,” Ms Beatty said.

“It is important for our industry to get on with reviewing our regulations and rules to improve our efficiencies and reduce any of the old red tape.”

Community feedback on commercial fishing regulations will be considered by relevant Ministerial Advisory Councils and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. To make a submission, or for more information on the review, visit Submissions close May 1, 2020.