Fee relief for fishing industry in wake of coronavirus

09 Apr 2020 media release

The Marshall Liberal Government will provide fee relief to the commercial seafood and charter boat sectors which have been significantly impacted as a result of coronavirus.

For 2020-21, the charter boat sector will have their annual fees waived for six months and the collection of all other commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors’ fees will be deferred for six months. Any outstanding 2019/20 fees for all sectors will also be deferred. The next round of fees will not be collected until January 2021.
The fee relief for the seafood and charter boat sectors will be funded from the Marshall Liberal Government’s $650 million Jobs Rescue Package.
The $650 million Jobs Rescue Package will directly assist individual businesses and industry sectors facing hardship due to the ongoing impacts of coronavirus and necessary new restrictions to limit its spread.
The seafood sector in South Australia has been significantly affected by restrictions in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, which has resulted in the closure of some markets.
620 commercial fishers, 324 aquaculture operators and 80 charter boat operators are set to benefit from the fee relief.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the fee relief would help support those in South Australia’s seafood industry who are doing it tough.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has a strong plan to save local jobs and businesses in the wake of the coronavirus crisis,” said Minister Whetstone.
“The commercial seafood and charter boat sectors have been significantly impacted by coronavirus mitigation measures introduced and it’s important we support them through this difficult time.
“With the recommendation for people to stay at home and not travel, and social distancing protocols, the charter boat sector has been brought to a standstill and it’s appropriate to waive their fees and defer any outstanding payments for six months.
“By deferring fisheries and aquaculture fees we are easing the immediate cash flow burden on businesses when they need it most and giving them the best opportunity to bounce back from market disruptions once we get through this pandemic.
“The commercial seafood and charter boat sectors contribute about $992 million to the state’s economy each year and the industry will be an important part of South Australia’s recovery.”
The 2020/21 annual fees for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors are approximately $16.2 million, of which the Charter Boat sector accounts for approximately $360,000.