Chair announced for CommFish NSW advisory council

30 Mar 2017

A portrait of the Stuart Richey

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) today announced the appointment of Stuart Richey AM to the role of Chair of the new CommFish NSW, an advisory council which will provide independent advice on commercial fishing to the Minister of Primary Industries.

DPI Deputy Director General Fisheries, Dr Geoff Allan, said the current reform of the State’s commercial fishing industry will ensure the industry is robust, viable and sustainable so fishers can continue to provide a quality product for consumers.

“Mr Richey brings a wealth of experience to this newly created position, which will help advise the Minister for Primary Industries and DPI to develop sound policies to manage the fisheries resources and ecosystems of NSW, in accordance with the objects of the Fisheries Management Act 1994,” Dr Allan said.

“As a Tasmanian commercial fisher, a foundation member and former Deputy Chair on the Board of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, as well as the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Mr Richey was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005 for service to the commercial fishing industry, particularly the promotion of sustainable utilisation of Australian Government managed fisheries.

“I look forward to working with Mr Richey and CommFish NSW as we guide the commercial fishing industry into a new era.”

Mr Richey said he was looking forward to taking on the role as Chair and to advocate on behalf of commercial fishers.

“It is essential CommFish NSW provides a genuine and independent voice during and after the reform process,” Mr Richey said.

“This is a critical period for the industry and I want to ensure we have a robust and open discussion in the lead up to the new management arrangements in December.”

Dr Allan said the NSW Government has now reached an important milestone in the reform of the commercial fisheries industry.

“Fishers will soon have the ability to invest in their businesses with more certainty than ever before because these reforms introduce linkages between shares and catch or effort,” Dr Allan said.

“Importantly, the share linkages have been tailored to each share class.  A subsidised share trading market will allow active fishers to purchase shares with the help of generous subsidies.  Inactive fishers will be able to sell their shares and receive a buyout for their business.

“We have now received almost 500 registrations for the subsidised share trading market, as registrations closed last Monday,” Dr Allan said.

“The subsidised share trading market will start on 1 May this year, and once this market has closed fishing business owners will still have five months to adjust their businesses before the linkages commence on 1 December.”

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Media contact: Lyndall Hilder (02) 6391 3686 or 0409 383 423