Revised quotas for gamefish

THE Australian Fisheries Management Authority this afternoon released revised quotas for long liners working the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery. These new quotas, which are set to start from March 1, are a reduction from the quotas previously put forward by the commercial sector, but do not reflect the levels advocated by scientists, conservationist and anglers as being sustainable.

For example, AFMA only reduced the commercial take of striped marlin by 10 tonnes to 390 tonnes, despite concerns about bycatch of protected blue and black marlin and a lack of knowledge about striped marlin stocks.

The federal fisheries agency significantly reduced the quota on bigeye tuna and also dropped the catches of albacore and yellowfin. The quota for broadbill swordfish remains the same at 1550 tonnes.

The new AFMA quota system sets the catch limit of albacore at 2500 tonnes (originally 3000 tonnes), bigeye tuna at 1056 (2000), striped marlin 390 (400) and yellowfin 2200 (2655).

A total of 1909 tonnes of gamefish have been saved from long liners due to the protest actions of Australian anglers.

However, long liners will still be able to kill more than 6000 tonnes of fish than the scientists says is sustainable.

It looks like we have a lot of work to do …


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