Posted November 14, 2018 04:38:07 The first person to be taken into the federal government’s new anti-captivity program was just three years ago.
But the hunt for a predator is just getting started, with the Australian Fishing Industry Association (AFI) saying it is targeting fish farms in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
The hunt has been expanded from a few hundred to a few thousand individuals in just over a month.
In the last three years the hunt has netted over 600,000 fish.
“A lot of these fish farms have been identified as being in areas of high water quality,” says Peter Carrigan from the Australian Fisheries Market Alliance.
“We’re looking for those that are underwater, and we’re trying to get them into the system.”
The Australian Fishing Market Alliance (AFMCA) said the hunt is aimed at fish farms that have no commercial fishing operations and that some of the farms are already operating illegally. “
They’re just in a very fragile area.”
The Australian Fishing Market Alliance (AFMCA) said the hunt is aimed at fish farms that have no commercial fishing operations and that some of the farms are already operating illegally.
“It is aimed specifically at those who are operating in areas that are already under pressure and we don’t want them to go to a place where they are not in control,” says Mr Carrigan.
The government has also made changes to the anti-trafficking laws, which will make it easier for businesses to operate in the wild.
The changes were announced in October, and will make some of these farms illegal.
But they have not yet been rolled out across the country.
They are being rolled out in regional and state capitals across Australia.
Some of the changes will see fish farms operating from an out of control, unlicensed fishing boat.
“The rules are very, very restrictive, they’re going to be difficult for some of them to comply with,” says Ian Hogg from the AFMCA.
“There will be a very high bar to meet.”
The rules also require the fish farmers to be on the water when the hunt begins.
The regulations will also allow the government to apply to the court to enforce the rules.
The AFMAC said the new laws will be effective from December next year, and are likely to impact on fishing operations in Queensland.
“With the new legislation, the regulations are going to come into effect on December 18th,” Mr Carrigans comments.
“You can expect to see a lot of fish farms closed down.”
He says it is vital that the government ensures fish farms are kept open to prevent the death of these rare fish.
He says fish farmers in remote and rural areas are vulnerable to the conditions and are at risk of losing their livelihoods.
“Those fish farms need to be in the water,” he says.
“These are fish farms where you can get a very, really good return.”
The government will also introduce a new system of inspections, known as an EASO (Extension of Service Obligation) system.
This will allow the Department of Fisheries and Energy (DFE) to check on the welfare of fish farmers and the integrity of the system.
“In terms of the compliance, we’re not seeing a significant decline in the number of fish being captured,” says DFE fisheries manager Michael Wilson.
“But we’re aware of a number of instances where the fish is coming into the fish processing plant that are in breach of the EASOs.”
“We’ve had a number farms come into the EASEO system to find out that their product has been mislabelled,” he adds.
“That is a very serious issue.”
Under the Easeo system, fishing operators can take actions such as notifying the Department, and notifying other farmers.
The new system will allow for the department to inspect fish farms and determine whether they are in compliance.
“As a result of the inspection, we have a very robust system that allows us to take actions in accordance with the requirements of the regulations,” Mr Wilson says.
The rules will also enable the Department to suspend or revoke licences for farms that are deemed in breach.
“If the department believes there is a risk of a fish being transported into a fish processing facility and there’s a risk to the safety of the fish, we will issue a licence for the fish to be removed from the fish plant,” he explains.
The Government is also expected to introduce a bill to change the law to allow farmers to apply for licences that can be renewed.
Mr Wilson hopes that the legislation will be passed into law before the next election.