Prawn trawling season on its way

NEWS that Palmers Channel will be dredged before the start of the prawn trawling season brought a big smile to Bruce Ellem’s face yesterday.

The Maclean fisher, who has been trawling Lake Wooloweyah and the Clarence River for 14 years, described the news as brilliant.

“It means we can get in and out. . . it means safety,” he said.

“Because you get stuck at low tide when it’s blowing and it can be dangerous.”

Mr Ellem said for many years navigating Palmers Channel had posed problems for trawler operators.

State Primary Industries minister Katrina Hodgkinson said the much-needed maintenance dredging will allow for safe trawler access to the estuary prawn grounds of the Clarence.

“More than $124,000 will be provided to Clarence Valley Council to dredge Palmers Channel in order to allow estuary prawn trawlers access to Wooloweyah Lagoon in time for this year’s prawn season which commences in early October,” she said.

“The NSW Government has listened to the concerns of both local fishers and the wider community and acted.

“This funding will go a long way to assisting the growth of the local estuary prawn trawl fishery.”

Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell said the dredging of Palmers Channel was a win for not just local fishers and the community, but for people across the State who savour the region’s great seafood.

“This is fantastic news, especially for fishers preparing for this year’s prawn trawl season,” he said.

“Palmers Channel has not been dredged since 1991 and this announcement will ensure safe trawling access to a Channel that has become notoriously hard to navigate.”

The dredging of Palmers Channel is set to commence within the next week and will conclude before the start of the prawn trawl season on October 4.



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