From the Newsroom

New NSW Commercial Fishing peak body

New NSW Commercial Fishing peak body

Rodney Stevens

The NSW Government have announced a new peak body for the commercial fishing industry in the state with John Wilson being appointed as the inaugural chair of the NSW Commercial Fishing Industry Association.

Developed through an industry-facilitated process involving stakeholder-wide consultation, the NSW Commercial Fishing Industry Association CFIA aims to give the industry, key stakeholders, and the community a united voice to government.

The CFIA is the allied peak industry body for the wild harvest commercial fisheries in NSW, which have an annual total value of $90 million at the first point of sale and contribute more than $170 million to the state’s annual production.

NSW commercial fisheries are a carefully managed resource shared among more than 1000 commercial fishers, who employ more than 1661 people directly to catch seafood for the whole community to enjoy.

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

When announcing the CFIA at the Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards on April 23, NSW Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty said the CFIA will help ensure the viability, profitability, and sustainability of the industry.

“This peak body for commercial fishing will focus on industry representation, advocacy, building the industry’s capacity to participate in shared decision-making as well as consultation and communication with commercial fishers,” she said.

Following the announcement of the CFIA, the NSW Government is continuing to push ahead with establishing a peak body to represent the NSW recreational fishing sector.

Yamba commercial fisherman and Professional Fishermen’s Association board member for the past 10 years, Troy Billin said establishing the CFIA is a positive step for the future.

“I think it is great that the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Government have been able to support the process to establish the CFIA,” he said.

“We can only build from here and hopefully we get a good strong peak industry body for NSW commercial fishermen.”

Mr Billin said he is involved in getting the CFIA established.

“I am on the interim board of the CFIA to set up the governance arrangements for the association,” he said.

Moves by the NSW government to establish a peak body to represent the recreational fishing sector, Mr Billin said, can only benefit the entire fishing industry.