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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT


Commonwealth Crest
Tasmania

Senator Robert Hill
Minister for Environment

David Llewellyn,
Minister for Primary Industries, Water and Environment

 

Environmental Assessment of Tasmanian Lobster Fishery

The Tasmanian rock lobster fishery is the first fishery to complete its draft environmental assessment against the Commonwealth's Guidelines for the Ecologically Sustainable Management of Fisheries.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has released the draft environmental assessment of the Tasmanian rock lobster fishery for a public comment period of four weeks.

"The Commonwealth has established an environmental assessment process for fisheries that is world's best practice. The assessments, including this assessment of the rock lobster fishery, must address impacts on target species and the broader impacts on the whole ecosystem," Senator Hill said.

Tasmania's Minister for Primary Industries, Water and Environment, David Llewellyn, said the rock lobster fishery is one of the State's most valuable fisheries, worth an estimated $40-$50 million with some 315 licences in force.

"The rock lobster fishery harvests 1,500 tonnes of lobster annually. Stock assessments indicate that, under the current catch limits, stocks appear to be rebuilding. The outcomes of this assessment process will help deliver a better outcome for the environment and the fishing industry."

Senator Hill said the cooperative work between Tasmanian and Commonwealth governments in relation to the lobster fishery underlined the commitment of both governments to the conservation of the marine environment and the promotion of ecologically sustainable fisheries.

"The results of the assessment will assist in the design and implementation of fisheries management arrangements that are ecologically and economically sustainable, " Senator Hill said.

Under the Commonwealth fisheries assessment process, fisheries that are managed in an ecologically sustainable manner will be exempt from export controls.

12 June 2001
Media Contacts:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office) 08 8237 7920 or 0419 258 364
Julie Pellas (Minister Llewellyn) 03 62332305 or 0418 146078

Commonwealth of Australia