Lakes Entrance Fishing Co-Operative (LEFCOL) is still looking to the future and working at full strength to get through the difficult times of COVID-19.
“Obviously the market is quiet with wholesale sales down, but they are still ticking over,” LEFCOL general manager, Brad Duncan, said.
Seafood is a valuable food source and at times like these it is crucial to keep the supply going.
With the announcement that $10 million, or two thirds of all levies collected by the Australian Government for the management of Commonwealth fisheries, will be waived, Brad is convinced this will take some pressure off local fishermen.
“This area would contribute over $2 million to their funds annually, so I am absolutely sure this will be a relief,” Brad said.
Simon Boag, chief executive officer of the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association (SETFIA), explained how important this announcement is.
“I have thanked the assistant minister for the government’s support of our industry. It is a game changer,” Mr Boag said.
“It is important to keep the fish mongers, food markets and fish and chip shops open because without them Australians will have to turn to imported fish supporting other countries.
“More than ever there is a need for Australia to feed itself and not rely on imported seafood. We have had positive conversations with supermarkets, and we hope that they will focus on the true value of purchasing a wider range of fresh wild caught Australian fish.”
Another positive for LEFCOL is plans for the Bullock Island cafe and viewing area are close to being submitted.
“We are still confidently going ahead with this project,” Brad said.
Meanwhile, Off The Wharf Fish Shop at Bullock Island is still trading from 9am to 5pm for all your seafood needs, particularly ahead of Good Friday.
IMAGE: Glenda Aston buying some fresh fish from Off The Wharf staff member, Maddi Graske. (PS)