Website fails leaves fishers snagged

ABOUT 90 fishers who took time off to learn how to stay in the changing industry have been left with no help due to a crashing website.

The website, set up to train fishers how to buy and sell fishing rights in an upcoming New South Wales-wide shares auction, went offline between 9am and 1pm on Monday.

It was meant to be the website's first day online.

Upper house Labor MP Mick Veitch said the crash was indicative of "continuing errors in the implementation of the commercial fishing restructure".

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair told parliament fishers were still able to get phone help.

He said about 450 fishers were registered for the mock share-auction stage, but most of the industry would not need to take part.

"We believe there will be close to two-thirds of fishers who will not need to participate in the practice round or the share trading round, either because they have already adjusted or did not need to adjust," he said.

"This is a good example of why we did not rush and say, 'This is the trading round.'

"This practice round is why we have listened to and worked with the fishers: so that we can make sure that when we go to the share trading next year, issues like this will have been addressed through the practice and preview round we have at the moment."

The online failure follows a troubled training session branded a shambles by industry figures.

Local fishers came away saying they left the session disappointed, angrier, dismayed, with more questions than when they came.



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