Fishing funding a drop in the ocean
By Laura Cook
The fishing sector received a $9 million boost for programs in the federal budget.
ALTHOUGH several of Australia’s industries took a hit in last week’s federal budget announcement, the fishing sector received a $9 million boost for programs including support for recreational and commercial fishing bodies, support for the groups to meet maritime standards, and an invasive marine pest review.
Parliamentary Secretary to the agriculture minister Senator Richard Colbeck said $5 million would go toward combating invasive marine pests that cause significant damage to fisheries.
$1 million will go to helping recreational and commercial fishing organisations provide “sustainable national leadership on fisheries issues”, Mr Colbeck said.
$500,000 has been allocated for recreational fishing surveys to collect data on the social and economic impacts of recreational fishing and to assess stock levels, and $2.4 million will go toward recognising OceanWatch as a natural resource management organisation.
Wildcatch Fisheries South Australia chairperson Jonas Woolford said the funding was “a drop in the ocean really, considering the funds at the disposal of the federal government”.
“The seafood industry has become accustomed to running on the smell of an oily rag, we are not after a handout however, just a fair and equitable playing field.”
Mr Woolford said the fishing industry was appreciative of Mr Colbeck’s “strategic approach”.
“He has been a long time advocate of Australia’s seafood industry, after many discussions and a good working relationship with him we are able to make the most of scarce budget allocations.”
Comments are closed.