Trawler operators will have a little less to pay after recent bushfires.
Trawler operators will have a little less to pay after recent bushfires.

Fishers get rate cut ahead of review

PROFESSIONAL fishers will get a much-needed boost with the State Government cutting the line on a key fee.

Last week Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis announced measures to save fishers time and money by waiving the requirement to pay some fees due in February.

"For fishers and charter operators in bushfire-affected areas like ours, the Government has decided to waive the second instalment of management charges," Mr Gulaptis said.

"These businesses have been hurt by the fires with restricted access both to where they fish from and where they sell their catch, so it is only fair the Government cuts them a break."

Mr Gulaptis also called on fishers to get involved in their newly announced review of fishing regulations which he said was aimed at slashing red tape.

"This will be achieved by identifying any commercial fishing regulations that may no longer be necessary or impede business efficiency and profitability," he said.

"The people who know best which regulations are pointless are the people who have to comply with them and that is why the Government is seeking feedback from stakeholders including those in the Clarence and Richmond Valley."

The announcement comes amid a storm of controversy over a recent proposal to allow the use of mud-crab traps up river from the boat ramp near Maclean Courthouse.

The proposal has been met with anger from both recreational and professional fishers who argued the change would lead to a proliferation of crab traps throughout the river.

However, some professional crab fishers have rejected those claims, instead saying there would be no more traps than were already allowed under the current quota system.

For more information on the fisheries review contact the NSW Department of Primary Industries on 1300 720 662.



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