Fishing organisations blame delays for relationship collapse

COMMERCIAL and recreational fishers are blaming delays in restructuring the fishing industry for a collapse in the relationship between the two arms of the industry.

Last year NSW fisheries from the Victorian to Queensland borders voted against a NSW Government plan to restructure the industry and made submissions to the government on how the reform should be structured.

At the time NSW Primary Industry Minister Katrina Hodgkinson promised her department would look at the submissions and get back to the industry by the end of the year.

But Clarence River Fishermen's Co-operative general manager Danielle Adams said the industry had yet to hear from the government.

"We fear there's something in what they're going to tell us they don't want out there until after the election," Ms Adams said.

The recreational fishing industry is also in a holding pattern until it sees details of the commercial restructure.

The CEO of the Australian Trade Fishing Association (AFTA), Robert Hansard, said the tardiness of the government has resulted in some distrust between the two sectors.

"While we're waiting to see what happens there are people on both side filling in the gaps with all sorts of suggestions," he said.

"We recognise the need for a viable commercial fishing industry, but what that is, the government is looking at."

AFTA has been lobbying the government for recreational fishing to be the industry benchmark in NSW.

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