Commercial fishermen fear for future under NSW Government industry (catch share) reforms

Allan Reed left school at The Entrance at the age of 16, he has overcome many snags in a 37-year career as a commercial fisherman on the Central Coast. But now the 53-year-old and his 79-year-old father, Allan Sr, along with dozens of other commercial fishers in the region, face the “soul-destroying” prospect of it all coming to an abrupt end. Mr Reed and his father will have to pay $370,000 to keep their prawning, mud-crab and meshing business operating in local waters under the State Government’s reforms to the $90 million industry. “We’ll have to buy all these extra shares to keep operating just as we are now. How does that make sense?” In a week when an upper house inquiry into commercial fishing in NSW is hearing submissions from various stakeholders, Mr Reed said the industry overhaul was “all about benefiting a handful of people and driving out the rest of us”. NSW Wild Caught Fishers Coalition president Dane Van Der Neut estimates half of the 100 commercial fishers on the Coast, from Tuggerah Lake to the Hawkesbury, will be “squeezed out” when the reforms kick in from July next year. Read the story here 15:34