A local prawn and scallop trawler operator has welcomed a development plan for the trawling industry.
A local prawn and scallop trawler operator has welcomed a development plan for the trawling industry.

Operator welcomes trawler boost

A HERVEY Bay prawn and scallop trawler operator has welcomed a State Government plan for the trawling industry designed to boost profitability.

Stephen Murphy, manager of family owned fishing business Murphy Operator, said the development plan had good ideas but how to turn those ideas into reality was the big question.

“It's easy enough to say we can fix this and fix that but it really comes down to practicality and the actual will to do it,” he said.

“All of these things cost money to do, so where the money exactly comes from it's hard to say.”

Queensland Seafood Industry Association chief executive Winston Harris said the industry development plan was part of a wider review of the overall plan for the trawl industry for the next 10 years.

He said a regulatory assessment statement was due to be released next year and the broader industry would again have the chance to provide input.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the East Coat Trawl Fishery plan outlined issues impacting on the fishery and initiatives for addressing the challenges.

He said workforce and labour supply, value chain improvements and ways of maximising business value and profitability were included in the plan, which also covered options for innovative fishing, energy-efficient trawling, marketing and promotion.

“This partnership is a first for Queensland and I am excited to work with the commercial fishing industry on delivering the plan over the coming years,” Mr Mulherin said.

“I am looking forward to following the implementation of the plan over the next few years and seeing first-hand the positive outcomes.”

He said the commercial fishing industry including the trawl sector faced significant hardships in 2008 due to record high fuel costs, labour shortages, competition from imported seafood and a strong Australian dollar.

To view a copy of the trawl development plan visit www.deedi.qld.gov.au and click on fisheries.



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