Tag Archives: Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne

Disease outbreak in Logan River prawns turns ugly as politicians go to war on compensation

PROFESSIONAL fishermen have called for a total Logan River fishing ban in an attempt to control the spread of an exotic disease in prawns. It comes as a brawl breaks out between politicians over compensation for prawn farmers and trawler operators whose businesses have closed due to white spot disease. The disease has been found in a Logan River prawn farm, prompting the closure of it and two of the eight others nearby in the $88 million a year industry. A ban on fishing for crustaceans is already in place. Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said no compensation would be paid but Logan River farmers and fishermen would have costs reimbursed for any work carried out under the direction of Biosecurity Queensland. Read the story here 19:46

Queensland’s trawling industry under threat over low scallop numbers

6123326-3x2-700x467Scallop fishers have been told the Federal Government may step in and restrict fishing and exports for the entire trawling industry in Queensland if stock numbers do not dramatically improve. The warning came at a meeting at Bundaberg, which was the culmination of two days worth of talks between industry and the State Government about the dire state of the scallop stock. Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne announced last week he would close stock replenishment areas (SRAs) and introduce a winter spawning closure, in the wake of a stock assessment that put the biomass level at 6 per cent of 1977 levels. But emotional, frustrated and at times hostile fishermen and processors disputed the assessment. The industry has questioned how a fishery that had been managed for decades could end up in this position. Stephen Murphy, from Hervey Bay Cold Stores, said the fishing industry should not bear all the blame for the situation, saying climate and environmental issues also played a part. “Especially things like the Gladstone dredging. As soon as they started that dredging for the LNG project, they dumped millions and millions of tonnes of spoil from that harbour on to pretty well the best scallop grounds in Queensland,” he said. Read the article here 11:18

Queensland Government slammed over permanent scallop closure

b88446357z1_20161121174643_000g3kdi7bf2-0-269xzgl8tb38icmp9n2_t620Bundaberg commercial fishers have labelled the State Government’s intention to permanently close scallop replenishment areas as “idiotic”, accusing them of using dodgy, out of date data to threaten livelihoods. On Friday, Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said Fisheries Queensland officers would hold urgent meetings with commercial operators to outline changes to management to protect the sustainability of scallops, which had plummeted to crisis levels. But Bundaberg trawler owner Andrew Redfearn said the intended permanent closure of the SRAs was another under-handed resource grab from fishermen under the guise of fisheries management for which there was no compensation. “I seriously question the credentials, capability and political persuasion of the person who suggested the permanent closure of the SRAs and also question the same of the other managers that support this idiotic measure.” Mr Redfearn said the government was basing the current 6% of biomass on 1977 catches. Read the story here 09:21