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State slashes rock lobster catch limit

Fisheries minister Norman Moore has imposed new restrictions on the rock lobster industry in a bid to halve the annual harvest from its long-term average of 11,000 tonnes to 5,500 tonnes.

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C Zone
To all who are concerned This package in my opinion is flawed in several ways 1; It does not take out the race to catch the product 2; There will also still be the race to sell as we do not have enough proccessors, and in this ecconomic climate proccessors must sell product to pay fishermen 3; We talk about improving economic returns, but do nothing to fish to market opportunities This package does not address this at all 4; The TARGET CATCH has not been divided fairly as a total catch of 5.5 mill should be 50% for zone C and 50% for zones A&B as the long time average catch shows that C zone traditionally has always caught in excess of 50% of the total catch 5; Saying that the catch is now for the first time split at 5% recreational and 95% commercial, it will effect C zone fishers more than A&B as there is a larger population growth in the C zone coastal area 6; The size limits set for Gaps and Gauges should be uniform for all participants, as it is ludricous for one section to return stock to water and then let another section take the product 7; As mentioned under the input control system it is very hard to predict catches and lots of different managment arrangements have to be implemented to try and obtain targets Why not go to ITQs (Individual Transferable Quotas) which once implemented would allow you to fish to the markets and do away with a lot of guess work that has to be alltered all the time 8; the reason most people are afraid to embrace Quotas is that so far All Allocations be they Wet Fish or gauge size, season start times, have never been Fair or consistent as once again can be seen by the allocation of the total catch of lobster being divided between A&B north zone and C zone the southern zone All indications show that there has been far more damage done in the Northern zone of the fishery and last season C zone retained a 77mm Gauge while A zone and all rec. fishers were able to use a 76 mm gauge and these are measures to help rebuild the stock where it is most depleted. We must have Fair and equal and industry consistent managment measures as ALL Participants have a bearing on this Industry Regards John Servaas Snr.

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