Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry has signed a landmark agreement with five of the nation’s peak commercial fishing, aquaculture and seafood industry associations.
The Memorandum of Understanding establishes principles of co-operation, communication and consultation between APPEA and fishing industry bodies with members operating in Western Australian, South Australian, Victorian, Northern Territory and Commonwealth waters.
Under the MOU, the industry groups commit to meet regularly through a roundtable process and to seek to resolve issues through better sharing of information. The agreement also encourages the development of joint initiatives or policies that will benefit both industries.
APPEA Chief Executive David Byers said the oil and gas and fishing industries had much in common and would benefit by working more closely to resolve differences and explore common interests.
“Both of our industries make an important economic contribution to Australia and share a commitment to safe and environmentally-responsible operations,” Mr Byers said.
“We also share a strong interest in science and evidence-based policy-making by industry and government.
“The MOU is a vehicle for closer co-operation and communication that should help resolve differences as they emerge and also focus on how we can work together better for the mutual benefit of our members.”
Mr Byers said roundtable discussions had already started on several important issues, such as improving maritime interactions and better understanding of seismic surveys and commercial fish species.
Current signatories to the MOU include:
• Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association Ltd (APPEA);
• Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA);
• Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC);
• Seafood Industry Victoria (SIV);
• Western Australian Fishing Industry Council Inc. (WAFIC); and
• Wildcatch Fisheries South Australia (WFSA).