Tropical Rock Lobster fishery – voluntary buyback complete

11 January 2013

The Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) agreed on 20 May 2011 to a voluntary buyback of non-Traditional Inhabitant fishing licences in the Torres Strait Protected Zone Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery. The voluntary buyback was completed on 30 June 2012 and has seen a two per cent increase in the Traditional Inhabitant share of the fishery to approximately 56 per cent of the Australian share of the fishery after one licence was bought back.

The buyback was undertaken through an open tender process between 20 December 2011 and 30 June 2012.

The PZJA will now look at the full report of the tender evaluation panel and consider the outcome in light of the goals of Traditional Inhabitants for this fishery. The PZJA is committed to implementing a Management Plan for the fishery that ensures sustainability of the resource and will now consider next steps in light of the buyback outcome.

In agreeing to the voluntary buyback the PZJA also agreed not to reintroduce the interim arrangements upon completion of the voluntary buyback of non-Traditional Inhabitant fishing licences in the Torres Strait Protected Zone Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery.

Accordingly, the following management arrangements will not apply to the Torres Strait Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery for the 2013 season:

1. A 30 per cent tender reduction for the Transferrable Vessel Holder (TVH) fishers; and

2. A seven day moon-tide hookah closure.