Marine Parks

29 Nov 2011 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make an explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries about a SARDI assessment.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: SARDI has undertaken a project entitled 'Estimating historical fishery catches from preliminary sanctuary zone scenarios in South Australia's marine parks' which was published in July 2011 and which states:

There is a high level of uncertainty in the estimates of historical catches of abalone, rock lobster and pipi from sanctuary zones because of the limited quality and quantity of spatial catch data.
Under the heading 'Other fisheries', it states:

[The quality of spatial data]...for other SA fisheries are poorer than those available for the abalone and rock lobster fisheries. In these cases [for example blue crab, marine scale, Lakes and Coorong] it will be necessary to...define the fished area for each species—
and so forth, and it goes on to say:

...this area-based approach has considerable potential to produce erroneous results.

My question for the minister is: given the level of uncertainty expressed in this report, what confidence does she have that PIRSA's assessment of displaced effort will be accurate?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Status of Women) (14:28): Displaced effort relating to the marine parks?

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: Yes.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: I thank the honourable member for her most important question. Indeed, a great deal of work and consideration has gone into the development of the marine parks planning—the setting of the boundaries, the work that has gone into zoning proposals, no-take zones. It has indeed been an extremely comprehensive policy development that has taken many, many years. I have said in this place before that I was very pleased, as one of the former ministers for environment, to have played a very key part in that.

My understanding is that, in relation to the displaced effort, that is the responsibility of the minister for environment. He has taken charge of that process. However, clearly PIRSA and fisheries are working extremely closely with and inputting into and providing advice in relation to the development of those plans. First of all, my understanding in relation to the no-take zones is that those areas have yet to be finalised, so consultation is still occurring.

In relation to us having a final understanding of the overall effect of displaced fishing, that has still not been completely finalised. Work is still being completed on that. My understanding is that we have indicated that, wherever possible, to produce a minimal impact on commercial and recreational fishing where we possibly can, and that is qualified within the parameters of the objectives of the marine park, which is about protecting and preserving important ecosystems, identifying those systems, and protecting and preserving them within our marine environment.

We have certainly worked very hard to minimise the impact on particularly commercial fishers but also recreational fishers, and that is why minister Caica has gone to great pains and provided extensive community consultation, key stakeholder consultation, to ensure that we get that right. My officers in relation to PIRSA, as I said, continue to input into and provide advice into these developments. Members can be assured that we are working to get the best balance that we possibly can with maximum benefits for the environment but minimum impacts on our commercial fishers and recreational fishers.