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Saturday, May 25, 2024

New NSW commercial fishing peak body

The NSW Government has introduced a new governing body for the commercial fishing sector in the state, appointing John Wilson as the inaugural chair of the NSW Commercial Fishing Industry Association (CFIA).

Formed through an industry-driven process involving broad stakeholder consultation, the CFIA aims to provide a unified voice to the government on behalf of the industry, key stakeholders, and the community. It serves as the principal peak body for wild harvest commercial fisheries in NSW, which boast an annual total value of $90 million at the initial point of sale and contribute over $170 million to the state’s yearly production.

NSW’s commercial fisheries are meticulously managed resources shared among a network of over 1000 commercial fishers, directly employing more than 1661 individuals to harvest seafood for the wider community.

John Wilson, appointed as the CFIA chair, brings a wealth of experience from various roles, including Secretary of the Seafood Co-Operative Centre Company, Director at the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and General Manager of Business and Chief Financial Officer at the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

At the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards on April 23, NSW Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty emphasized that the CFIA will play a crucial role in ensuring the industry’s viability, profitability, and sustainability. The organization will focus on industry representation, advocacy, capacity building for shared decision-making, as well as consultation and communication with commercial fishers.

In addition to the CFIA, the NSW Government is progressing with efforts to establish a peak body for representing the state’s recreational fishing sector. Troy Billin, a Yamba commercial fisherman and board member of the Professional Fishermen’s Association, expressed optimism about the establishment of the CFIA, seeing it as a positive step forward for the industry’s future.

Mr. Billin, actively involved in the establishment of the CFIA, serves on the interim board to develop the association’s governance framework. He believes that the NSW Government’s initiative to establish a peak body for the recreational fishing sector will ultimately benefit the entire fishing industry.

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