Fishery forum about future

Representatives from the fishing and aquaculture industries gathered at Beer Garden Brewing last week to talk about the future and sustainability of local fisheries.

SYMPOSIUM: Claire Webber addresses the crowd at the SALT Festival event last Wednesday.

SYMPOSIUM: Claire Webber addresses the crowd at the SALT Festival event last Wednesday.

'Upwelling', a SALT Festival event, was a symposium for sustainable fishing and aquaculture, and featured talks from representatives of the Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association, Clean Seas, EP Seafoods, the South Australian Sardine Association and the abalone industry.

Claire Webber, from the Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association, hosted the event and said the term 'upwelling' was coined for the event because of what it represents.

"It's meant to symbolise deep water currents driven up onto the continental shelf, fertilising ecosystems, and the synergy between this and what we are doing.....fertilising the minds of the community," she said.

"It's for the industry to make time available to the public and the Port Lincoln community to ask questions about sustainable fishing and aquaculture.

"There are things each industry does for biosecurity, and we want people to understand how hard we work."

Ms Webber said the symposium provided an opportunity to show people the unique way the local industry needed to operate.

"The fishing industry is highly scrutinised, so we have this opportunity through SALT Festival to talk about how we operate in an environmentally-friendly way that is really unique," she said.

The southern bluefin tuna industry is one of the most heavily regulated fishing industries. Ms Webber said the industry had addressed concerns of the species' previous endangered classification.

Other industry representatives, such as Andrew Puglisi from the mussel farming industry, talked about how he had seen a spike in growth of his mussels from pilchards and feed from the tuna and kingfish fisheries.

Ms Webber also expressed concerns for issues raised by members of the audience.

She said the industry held "very grave concerns" about oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight.

"Our number one priority right about now is the new issue that has been thrust upon us by oil and gas.

"Seismic surveys and blasting down the water column may have an effect on tuna migration...they may go to the Indian Ocean instead...there are also concerns for the wider ecosystem," Ms Webber said.