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South Australian fishing reforms prompt warning of 'brawls on the water' by Malcolm Sutton November 04,2020   |  Source: ABC

A "backflip" on introducing commercial King George whiting quotas to South Australia's West Coast could prompt a rush of fishers from other zones trying to remain viable under controversial reforms, stakeholders have warned.

With just over a week-and-half left for exiting fishers to surrender their licence under the South Australian Government's Marine Scalefish Fishery (MSF) reform package, dissent in the state's west has prompted a change to the rollout of individual transferable quotas (ITQs) for four priority species.

Whiting has been removed from that system in the West Coast zone only, where it will instead be managed by an increased Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) of 473 tonnes for the 2021-2022 season, well upwards from the estimated 90 tonnes commercial fishers are taking now.

Primary Industries Minister David Basham said the decision followed a meeting with commercial fishers and local MP Peter Treloar.

"Peter Treloar encouraged me to look at the science on King George whiting stocks to see if the West Coast stocks are as sustainable as we were told and if it would be possible to manage that fishery without quotas," he said.

"The science supports the decision we have now taken."

Snapper, southern garfish and southern calamari will remain under

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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