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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Strict conditions placed on Queensland fishery

Media release
27 February 2009

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A Queensland fishery will be able to continue exporting for a further three years under improved management arrangements following Queensland's response to an independent expert review.

"The new management arrangements that the Queensland Government has put in place for the East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery (ECIFFF), will help to ensure the ecological sustainability of the fishery, including the sustainable harvest of sharks in the Great Barrier Reef", the Environment Minister Peter Garrett said today.

Mr Garrett said the ECIFFF would operate as a Wildlife Trade Operation subject to 18 conditions and 14 recommendations.

"The ECIFFF is a Queensland-managed export fishery that operates largely within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, meaning it must be assessed for export approval and protected species accreditation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

"In approving continued exports from the fishery, I have imposed a number of new conditions on its management arrangements, including measures to address data requirements in the fishery and to ensure the harvest of shark species is sustainable."

To inform his decisions under the EPBC Act, Minister Garrett called for an Independent Expert Review of the ECIFFF's proposed management arrangements in September 2008.

"Based on the Queensland Government's response to the outcomes of the review, I have made the decision to extend the export approval for the fishery for three years."

"The public was invited to provide comments on the new management arrangements, and I have considered these in making my decision," Mr Garrett said.

"During the next three years, I will be closely monitoring the progress made by the Queensland Government in meeting the conditions I have placed on export approval.

"I am confident that the management arrangements that Queensland has implemented, in conjunction with the strict conditions placed on export approval will ensure sustainability for the fishery," he said.

Commonwealth of Australia