Hon Ken Baston MLC — Good fishing for World Fisheries Day 2014

Hon Ken Baston MLC — Good fishing for World Fisheries Day 2014

4The State Government has revealed that 97 per cent of the State’s fish stocks that support commercial and recreational fisheries are sustainable, meaning continued viability for the sector and great fishing for weekend boaties.

Speaking on World Fisheries Day, Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said WA’s most sought-after commercial fish were rock lobster, prawns and abalone, along with pink snapper and red emperor.

And the most sought-after recreational fish are dhufish and pink snapper, blue swimmer crabs, whiting, rock lobster, abalone and marron.

Mr Baston said it had been a terrific week for WA’s commercial fisheries with the announcement of Australia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China.

“With tariffs on Australian seafood being phased out over four years under this FTA, our exporters will be able to compete on a more level playing field with countries like New Zealand, which already has an agreement with China,” he said.

The Minister said the State’s fisheries science and management was leading the way with WA’s Department of Fisheries maintaining high standards and accountability for the sustainable use of the State’s fish resources by recreational and commercial fishers.

Mr Baston said the department took its stewardship of the State’s fish resources and marine environment seriously and had worked with the WA Fishing Industry Council and Recfishwest, to ensure sustainability and to tackle environmental challenges.

“West Australians are vitally interested in the health of the marine environment and the fisheries that depend on it,” he said.

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