​Media Release

Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan to be considered by the Protected Zone Joint Authority​

17 August 2018

After listening to the concerns of the Torres Strait community and commercial fishers, the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) will consider implementing a Tropical Rock Lobster (TRL) Fishery Management Plan by 1 December 2018.​

The Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), Pedro Stephen, said the proposed Management Plan will ensure the Traditional Inhabitant share of the TRL resource is protected into the future.

"This means that the sectoral split of the Australian TRL share in the Torres Strait Protected Zone between the Traditional Inhabitant Boat (TIB) sector and the Transferrable Vessel Holder (TVH) sector can be enforced," Mr Stephen said.

"Consultation on the Management Plan will be sought from late August, and the PZJA will then consider approving the plan in October 2018."

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and Chair of the PZJA, Anne Ruston, said the proposed start date of the management plan will coincide with the start of the new season.

"We will be respecting the ownership aspiration of Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people of the Torres Strait by introducing quota allocations for TRL," Minister Ruston said.

"With a proper allocation system in place and rights able to be traded, we believe the Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan will better serve those whose livelihoods rely on the fishery."

Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said he supported the views of his fellow PZJA members.

"Moving ahead with the Plan will provide certainty for future management of the TRL fishery which is so vital to the community of the Torres Strait."

The PZJA is comprised of the Chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority, the Commonwealth Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and the Queensland Minister for Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries.