​Media Release

Progress made on Geelong Star negotiations

1 December 2015

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, has welcomed today’s negotiations between the commercial and recreational fishing sectors on the operations of the Geelong Star in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF).  

In doing so, she thanked both parties for their attendance and their commitment to working towards mutually beneficial outcomes.

“While both parties acknowledged that there are difficult issues to work through, both gave their commitment to work together to find ways to co-exist around this shared resource,” Minister Ruston said.

“Shared use allows Australians to sustainably and profitably achieve the many ongoing benefits including healthy seafood on our tables, valuable exports and recreational enjoyment.

“I was pleased to hear that an outcome from today’s meeting was a voluntary agreement by Seafish Tasmania that the Geelong Star will not fish in management zone 7 of the SPF until the end of the season on 30 April 2016.

“This is an area nearly 14 times the size of Tasmania and includes the major game fishing ports of Port Stephens and Coffs Harbour in New South Wales to name a few.

“In addition, Seafish Tasmania also agreed that the Geelong Star voluntarily agreed to avoid fishing near major game fishing tournaments.

“Looking to the future, today’s meeting provided the opportunity for both parties to have a better understanding of the issues and concerns of each group, laying a strong foundation for future cooperation.

“The operators of the Geelong Star assured the meeting that best endeavours will be made to minimise interactions between the vessel and recreational fishers. 

“Participants agreed to meet again early in the new year. 

“In the meantime I encourage both parties to continue constructive discussions. 

“I also look forward to meeting with recreational fishing groups represented at the meeting today to discuss a range of key fisheries policy and management issues outside the SPF.”​