The 2nd National Rock Lobster Congress was hosted by Seafood Industry Victoria (SIV) with support from industry in each lobster producing state, at the Royal Geelong Yatch Club, Geelong on Thursday 20 September and Friday 21 September 2001.
The Congress received its funding from the major sponsor, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and registrations. The Congress program covered two full days with rock lobster post harvest and aquaculture Subprogram meetings held the day prior.
The purpose of the 2nd National Rock Lobster Industry Congress was to provide a forum of diverse interest groups to assess developments from the first Congress in 1999 and formulate directions for the national lobster industry.
The Congress theme was 'Just Holding Ground' and the program mix was specifically designed to highlight 'big ticket' issues and opportunities impacting on the lobster industry. The theme followed closely from those of the 1st Congress, allowing measurement of progress in key areas. Twenty-seven speakers presented information covering national fishery performance, marine planning, environmental accreditation, latest research and development, cost recovery and access security.
The standard of presentations was excellent and special mention is made of the performance of the scientists in delivering, simple, entertaining and high impact scientific information. A new standard was set in this regard.
Congress resolutions developed were:
1. Agreement to pursue national industry unity on key issues and establish a national lobster industry body.
2. Support for establishment of a southern rock lobster research and development sub
3. Agreement that a National Marine Protection area legislation based on the Western Australian model should be implemented.
4. Cost recovery should be based on transparent, competitive and accountable processes.
5. National access security legislation should be established.
The Congress resolutions reflect the commitment of the participants to working towards a secure common goal of sustainability, well managed fisheries worldwide, while building the value of the resource.
Along with the intense discussion, time was taken to enjoy Victoria's hospitality, with the 'Species Taste Off and Dinner' on Thursday evening, held at the Royal Yacht Club. The seafood was superb, the setting on the marina was apt, with a number of boats on display. The mood was positive and alive and added to building of national tradition.