Providing opportunities for indigenous communities to be part of the state’s world-class sustainable fisheries is at the heart of a draft policy released today by the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the government recognises the importance of fishing to Indigenous communities and is looking at ways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to participate in commercial fishing-related businesses.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders have told of their desire to have more economic opportunities around fishing, particularly in their own sea country,” Mr Furner said.
“This draft policy aims to support economic development opportunities by providing more flexible pathways for communities to enter or take part in fishing-related businesses under an Indigenous Fishing permit.
“These could range from supporting small business opportunities to catch and sell fish to local communities or even initiatives to support training to participate in commercial fisheries.
“The policy also sets overarching principles, including setting aside an allocation of up to 10 tonnes catch per year of various species to ensure access and provide opportunities for economic development.”
The actual amount allocated is based on the sustainability of a species or management region and will be released later in the year as part of consultation on draft harvest strategies.
Mr Furner said the draft commercial fishing development policy is separate to traditional fishing and native title fishing rights, which are preserved under state and federal legislation. Fish can be taken for traditional use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders already under the legislation, but cannot be sold.
“This policy is a commitment under the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy and recognises the rights and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in relation to fisheries resources in Queensland,” Mr Furner said.
Fisheries Queensland will be seeking feedback on the policy until 25 October 2019.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner