Quality and quantity boosts fishing quota

Fishermen at Apollo Bay, including Tom Igaunis, have almost filled their fishing quotas for the season.

Fishermen at Apollo Bay, including Tom Igaunis, have almost filled their fishing quotas for the season.

APOLLO BAY’S professional fishermen are close to catching their yearly quotas after a good start to the season.

Apollo Bay Fisherman’s Co-op co-director Nick Polgeest said it was good to see a turnaround in the industry.

“The season’s been extremely nice quantity-wise and quality-wise, the stock is in a fantastic state and we’re catching them in record time,” Mr Polgeest said.

“The export price has been stronger this year than it has in a long time; that makes it good for the fishermen, but not so much for the consumer in Australia, unfortunately,” he said.

Mr Polgeest said the Bay’s fishermen were close to reaching their quotas which was unusual for this time of year.

He said he believed the industry’s boost was a result of quotas dropping in 2006 in the Western Zone.

“When you’re a primary industry you have to look after your stock and the result of tightening our belts up to catch less is being felt now,” he said.

“Our industry is bouncing back very quickly and that’s because it’s one of the best managed industries that’s around.

“They are now almost finished their quotas which finishes and re-starts on the 30th of June and usually the fishermen are struggling to even meet that.”

Mr Polgeest said he believed the fishermen should have higher quotas.

“We’re feeling very positive that our industry is bouncing back very rapidly,” he said.

“It’s also time for us to get a little bit more quota to help our industry, a lot of young people don’t want to go into fishing because the future was looking so dismal.

“However that’s changing now and what the industry needs is some positive thinking from the authorities, we could catch more and still have enough stock.”

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