Tag Archives: Donna Cook

No Way Forward: Commercial fishers voice frustratation over catch share reforms and parliamentary inquiry

“It’s like continually banging your head against the wall.” This is how Donna Cook, the matriarch of a Stuarts Point commercial fishing family, describes trying to keep their livelihood afloat in the wake of the NSW Government’s industry reforms.  The Cooks are one of many fishing families around the state who have been devastated by the reforms, which cap the amount of fish they could catch with their existing permits, with fishers required to purchase more shares to catch the same amount of seafood. Donna said a continuing lack of information over what shares are available, and the fact that the shares necessary to keep their business afloat either don’t exist or have already been purchased by others, was creating angst for country fishers. For the Cooks, it means the shares don’t exist for them to remain viable. continue reading the story here 10:39

Catch Shares – Fishing Family Devastated by NSW Government Fishery Reforms

nsw-catch-share-reformsTears come to Donna Cook’s eyes as she describes the sale of her and her husband’s family fishing business; forced, they say, by the impact of the NSW Government’s fishing reforms. After five generations spanning more than 100 years of working the Macleay, the Cook family sold their Stuarts Point fishing business earlier this year to an investor. “We’ve always been a successful fishing family, we’ve bought a home and raised five kids,” Donna told the Argus. “But we lost 60 per cent of our income from the reforms. “We just couldn’t go on.”  The State Government reasons that the reform will ensure economic viability and environmental sustainability for the sector. But Donna said the changes have crippled fishers from around the State, with many forced to sell out to wealthy investors and large scale fishing operations. Catch Shares! Read the story here 09:42