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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

3 April 2006

Southern Bluefin Tuna decision welcomed

The Australian Government’s decision to allow the export of Southern Bluefin Tuna has been upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell said today.

The Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery (SBTF) was granted export approval in November 2004 following an assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

This decision has been the subject of a challenge in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT has today affirmed the Australian Government’s decision to approve export from the fishery.

Senator Campbell welcomed the AAT decision, indicating that it recognised Australia was best placed to take practical steps toward getting the best possible outcome for management of Southern Bluefin Tuna globally.

“Today’s decision also gives greater certainty to Australia’s $300 million Southern Bluefin Tuna industry,” he said.

“The AAT affirmation of the Australian Government’s decision to approve export from the fishery and demonstrates that we have in place a sound framework which is robust and effective in protecting Australia’s marine biodiversity.”

The Southern Bluefin Tuna is a long-lived, highly migratory species, forming a single, widely distributed population in the southern oceans. Internationally, the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) sets fishing quotas for Southern Bluefin Tuna and progresses conservation and stock management of the species.

“Given the migratory nature of the Southern Bluefin Tuna, it is important that the species is managed globally which is why Australia has been a member of CCSBT since its formation in 1994 and has played a leadership role in seeking to achieve the best conservation outcomes for the species,” Senator Campbell said.

“It is crucial that Australia retains its influential role within the CCSBT to ensure effective, cooperative conservation and management of the species.

“It will be vital for the CCSBT, at its October meeting, to deliver positive conservation outcomes including the implementation of further effective and binding management arrangements to ensure SBT stocks are rebuilt.”

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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