Aussie fishing licence in limbo for weeks

The Australian Financial Services Commission (AFSC) is trying to stop a ban on a Queensland fishing licence for a species of freshwater fish that is considered a threatened species.

The licence is in limbo after the Department of Fisheries and Energy announced it would revoke the licence, despite being challenged by the state’s largest fishing company.

It was originally given to Queensland company, The Big Three.

“We were all a bit shocked, we were all in shock,” Andrew Wooten, managing director of the Queensland Fishery Association, said.

Fisheries Minister Tim Nicholls says the Queensland Government has not changed its stance on the licence.

Mr Nicholls said the Department would now consult with the public, industry and stakeholders before taking any further action.

What you need to know about fish: The Queensland Fish and Wildlife Minister, Scott Emerson, said it was disappointing the decision to revoke the licences had not been reconsidered.

He said the government was reviewing the matter to ensure there were no unintended consequences.

There was a significant amount of community opposition to the licences, with people including Indigenous groups and a local fishing company challenging the decision.

But Mr Emerson said the Government was confident the decision was in the best interests of Queenslanders and the reef.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who had backed the Queensland Fishing Licence, said the decision had been made in the public interest.

She said the Queensland government had an obligation to protect the reef and its environment.

“We’ve got to ensure that this licence is not put to a vote,” she said.

“We’ve put a lot of work into making sure that it’s done in a way that’s in the interests of the reef.”

What you can do: If you want to protect your reef, you can help the Queensland Fish & Wildlife Minister’s review by visiting the Reef Watch website or visiting the Queensland Marine Stewardship Council website to find out how to help.