A rebate scheme to assist fishers with the costs of buying and installing vessel tracking units has commenced, with details of the scheme released today.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Government had partnered with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to make up to $3 million available to assist in the implementation of vessel tracking.
“The rebate will be available until 31 December 2020 for all commercial fishing boat, harvest and charter licence holders,” Mr Furner said.
“The scheme has been designed so that the majority of fishers should not be out of pocket for the unit purchase or installation costs.”
Mr Furner said, as part of Queensland’s Sustainable Fisheries Strategy, all commercial and charter boats would require vessel tracking by 2020 with net, line and crab boats to have vessel tracking units installed and operational from 1 January 2019.
“Commercial fishers can apply to the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) for reimbursement,” Mr Furner said
“Fishers must purchase a unit that is approved for use in their fishery and register their units with Fisheries Queensland by using FishNet secure to be eligible for a rebate.
“The list of approved units includes a number of smaller, more affordable units that have been trialled over the past year.
“Fishers will be able to access a range of communication materials to help them understand their obligations and how to install and register units.”
Mr Furner said approved vessel tracking units purchased from 1 June 2018 would be eligible for a rebate.
“Fishers may be eligible for reimbursement for up to seven units depending on their licence and fishery symbols,” Mr Furner said.
“Reimbursements of up to $300 will be available for category ‘A’ units like Spot Trace and YB3i while reimbursements of up to $750 will be available for category ‘B’ units like Skywave.
“Reimbursements of up to $220 will also be available to help with for installation costs.”
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chair Dr Russell Reichelt said they were pleased to contribute the scheme.
“The Great Barrier Reef Blueprint for Resilience highlights our support for implementing vessel tracking on all commercial fishing vessels operating in the Marine Park,” Dr Reichelt said.
“We believe vessel tracking is an important step to increasing compliance with Marine Park zoning rules.
“Given that accumulated pressures are impacting the Reef’s resilience, the benefits of protecting no-take zones by enhancing compliance are more important than ever before.”
More information on vessel tracking, including the installation and maintenance standards, is available on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website, www.daf.qld.gov.au .
For more information on the rebate scheme, visit the QRIDA website qrida.qld.gov.au or Freecall 1800 623 946.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner