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Abalone Quotas Need Immediate Review

3 May 2016

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Fisheries spokesperson

Abalone numbers have been on the decline for years, and the recent marine heatwave has intensified it. Climate change and overfishing have hit divers hard.

Minister Rockliff led Parliament to believe that everything is in hand and it is business as usual. This is in stark contrast to the claims of those at the coalface, who see an industry unable to sustain the current quota limit.

Despite the government's claims to the contrary, the Tasmanian abalone industry is in dire straits. Those who are on, and in, the water see it clearly.

The abalone industry is facing serious threats, including marine pollution, warming waters and overfishing.

Addressing overfishing and limiting quotas should be at the top of the Minister’s list of priorities if he wants the industry to survive.

Minister Rockliff has failed to heed warnings about the climate and the rapidly declining abalone. His lack of leadership has put the industry and marine environment at risk.  

Tasmania’s wild abalone fishery is the largest in the world, contributing 25% of the abalone consumed worldwide. The abalone industry is worth around $100 million a year to the State, and it needs to be protected.

Minister Rockliff must urgently address overfishing concerns. Climate change and warming waters are a reality, and this is just the beginning of what could be a fraught issue for our fisheries.