Seafood body calls for moratorium on Qld fishing reforms
QUEENSLAND'S peak seafood industry group has called for a moratorium on controversial fishing reforms in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The State Government's reforms include new commercial catch limits and seasonal closures for species like snapper and pearl perch as well as vessel tracking.
With export and domestic markets already impacted by the disease, the Queensland Seafood Industry Association claims the reforms will expose the industry to future market shocks.
A $3.66 million assistance package for the commercial fishing sector has already been announced but Hervey Bay Seafood Inc president Elaine Lewthwaite says the reforms are not in step with the new economic norm created by COVID-19.
"Industry operators in all fisheries at the coalface are very worried about the current marketplace mood," Ms Lewthwaite said.
"I think we need to go back to the government, have an economic analysis of what's happened and stack it up against the proposed reform.
"We want people to go and buy fish from the local store and support local workers."
QSIA chair Allan Bobberman says these changes would undermine the industry.
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said more support options could be made available in the State Budget.
He said he joined the QSIA's calls for the Federal Government to make Newstart payments immediately available for fishers and their staff impacted by coronavirus.