ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Commercial fisherman Kevin Greenhalgh says his industry is over-regulated and new reforms could force fishers out of business.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Commercial fisherman Kevin Greenhalgh says his industry is over-regulated and new reforms could force fishers out of business. Cody Fox

'Enough is enough': Fisherman says reform killing industy

AS A fisherman of 43 years, Kevin Greenhalgh doesn't think his business can survive any more rules and regulations.

The Fraser Coast net fisherman, who regularly fishes in the waters around the Mary River, Great Sandy Strait and off Fraser Island, says new commercial reforms imposed by the State Government risk shutting the industry down if no "allowable catch" limit is set.

Under the changes, commercial catch limits of 42 tonnes and 15 tonnes have been imposed for snapper and pearl perch respectively.

Boats will also be tracked from January next year and closures will be enforced in Fraser Island waters between November and March to protect juvenile prawns.

Mr Greenhalgh says the change will leave him about $4800 out-of-pocket when applying for a new licence just to go onto the water.

"VMS costs me about $1200 a year and now they want cameras on my boat," Mr Greenhalgh said.

"Enough is enough, I don't think I can sustain any more rules and regulations."

It's a situation worsened by the current catch limits on barramundi, which Mr Greenhalgh claims have forced him to fish for king salmon just to meet his required quota.

"A total of 2.9 tonnes of barramundi won't cut it for my livelihood," he said.

"With that I get 600kg of king salmon.

"They run together but because I still have to fill my barramundi quota, there will be dead king salmon floating all over the river while I'm still trying to catch my barramundi quota."

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said the new regulations would help rebuild numbers in struggling species and they would protect "thousands of jobs in the commercial and recreational sectors".

He said the State Government had consulted "comprehensively" with the industry over the past two years on the reforms.

But Mr Greenhalgh sees things differently.

"They need to set a total allowable catch (of fish) at a reasonable amount, so people can continue to work in the industry," he said.

 

"They should have had more consultation with the industry."