The seasonal closures to all commercial Southern Garfish fishing in Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent in South Australia, during separate 40-day periods between 16 May 2014 and 7 August 2014, are intended to recover Southern Garfish stocks.
According to the news release by Minister Gail Gago, Acting Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, “the commercial take of Southern Garfish will not be permitted in Spencer Gulf between 16 May and 28 June (including the existing June long weekend closure that applies to all haul net fishing in State waters), and in Gulf St Vincent between 29 June and August”.
The Minister further revealed that the closures will not in any way influence recreational fishing for Garfish, reminding fishers that there have been no changes whatsoever regarding bag and boat limits, which apply at all times.
“Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA) has been working closely with the Marine Fishers Association (MFA) in a joint Garfish Working Group to develop new management arrangements aimed at protecting Southern Garfish stocks. This is a very good example of what can be achieved through co-management, with everyone working together to ensure the future sustainability of our fisheries. I congratulate the MFA on being so proactive in suggesting ways for the fishery to be managed to protect Garfish stocks,” said Minister Gago.
“The MFA congratulates our members in coming up with a solution. It is essential that steps are taken now to protect the long term health of Southern Garfish stocks and safeguard the economic benefits of our fishery into the future. The closure of the gulfs at separate times will ensure continuity of supply of South Australian Garfish to local consumers,” said Chair of the MFA, Mike Fooks.