25 March, 2015
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck said claims by Stop the Trawler Alliance that there is no new science for the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) diminishes any credibility they have in the entire debate.
The Government has publically released the latest science for the SPF as soon as it has become available, including:
10 December, 2014 - 2015 Status of key Australian fish stocks reports 2014.
23 October, 2014 - ABARES Fishery Status Reports 2013-14.
"For the Alliance to make the claim there is "no new science" before even attending yesterday's stakeholder consultation forum is completely devoid of any credibility," Senator Colbeck said.
"It is a direct slur on the reputations of globally regarded institutions including CSIRO, IMAS/UTAS and SARDI who have conducted the science in this fishery. The Alliance should withdraw the slur on these renowned institutions and apologise."
Senator Colbeck said the Government and fisheries managers have been completely open with the community and done exactly as promised by conducting additional scientific work on the SPF and releasing it publically.
"We are committed to engaging with recreational and environmental stakeholders and providing them with the latest available information," he said.
"The Australian Fisheries Management Authority has hosted a number of forums to present the latest scientific information to stakeholders, including one held in Hobart yesterday."
"The claim of 'no new science' for the SPF was at odds with the new scientific information presented at the forum."
Senator Colbeck said it was disappointing that some groups had taken a political stance and boycotted previous public consultation processes conducted by AFMA and the science community to inform on this fishery.
"I encourage stakeholders to take the time to attend these forums and to review the latest science that shows us that the SPF can be fished sustainably," he said.