State-wide commercial fishing industry reforms have left fishers confused about their futures.
State-wide commercial fishing industry reforms have left fishers confused about their futures. Mark Wilton

Industry president hits out at seafood regulations

A TOP-RANKING seafood industry official has thrown his support behind the LNP's campaign against new fishing regulations.

Queensland Seafood Industry Association president Keith Harris criticised the State Government's "sham of a reform process".

"This so-called sham of a reform process rolls on and the implications for industry, retailers and the community have not been considered," Mr Harris said.

"Our fisheries are not in danger and the continued rhetoric that the cutbacks are about preserving them for the future is nonsense.

"This shambolic government has made its position clear - it does not value wild caught commercial fisheries and, because environmental activists have more influence over the Labor Government than primary producers do, and especially seafood producers - it is prepared to regulate them out of existence."

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner hit back at those claims.

"The QSIA's misplaced faith in the LNP nearly bore fruit this week, when the Opposition moved a motion to destroy Queensland's commercial fishing industry," he said.

"If the Palaszczuk Government hadn't stepped in, more than 1300 commercial fishers would have lost their livelihood, while our fish and chip shops and restaurants would have to import all our seafood.

"Fisheries reforms started in 2014 with the LNP-commissioned MRAG report and have been under way for five years.

"The Palaszczuk Government's half-a-decade of consultation and meetings with groups including the QSIA is by no means rushed."

Mr Harris said he wanted Queenslanders to continue supporting the seafood industry.

"QSIA appreciates the efforts of the LNP to take the fight regarding this so-called fisheries reform process to a minister and government that have no clue when it comes to food production, no clue about the job generating capacity of food producers and the importance of food production to the regions and coast," he said.