Assistance for commercial fishers affected by net-free zones
The Queensland Government's assistance schemes for commercial fishers associated with Queensland's new net-free fishing zones have now been completed.
The assistance schemes were implemented to reduce the potential for increases in fishing effort in other areas and fisheries.
2015 assistance schemes
An initial structured buyback scheme for commercial fishing boat licence holders who were directly affected by the net-free zones was established in 2015.
The first scheme, the Buyback Scheme, was targeted at the holders of the commercial fishing boat licences used in the zones between 2012 and 2014. The scheme sought to buy back up to 46 licences voluntarily in order to minimise commercial fishing effort moving into other areas or other fisheries (displaced effort).
The remaining 2 schemes, the Settlement Scheme and the Impact Alleviation Scheme, were targeted at impacted commercial fishers who were offered a cash payment based on the level of commercial netting undertaken in each of the zones.
The 3 schemes have now been completed.
2016 assistance schemes
A second buyback scheme for commercial fishing boat licence holders was established in August 2016 to further minimise commercial fishing effort moving into other areas or other fisheries (displaced effort).
The buyback scheme criteria were changed to include licence holders with net licences outside the relevant areas. Those licence holders directly impacted by the zones introduction still had the first option to sell, followed by those licence holders who work in areas adjacent to the zones and finally, those licence holders who had licences that worked in other areas.
The 2016 scheme has now been completed, resulting in the purchase of a further 19 licences.
Assistance schemes outcomes
All assistance schemes associated with the net free zones are now completed.